With Zambia set to take on Japan this Saturday, July 22, on Day 1 of Group C at the 2023 World Cup, star Grace Chanda has left the squad. She is accused of leading the team's protests against the non-payment of bonuses over the past 2 years.
A new scandal has rocked the Zambian national team at the Women's World Cup. On the eve of their opening match against Japan, the Zambians are not in the best of competitive spirits. Media outlet Relevo reveals that Zambia star Grace Chanda has left the squad. The FAZ initially announced an injury to the player, before calling Chanda "undisciplined" and a "bad influence" on the rest of the squad.She is said to be behind the players' strike against non-payment of bonuses.
A coach accused of sexual abuse
In reality, this protest movement within the Zambian national team is the consequence of several "unacceptable" situations.On July 10, 2023, the Guardian announced a bombshell. Zambia coach Bruce Mwape had been accused by his players of sexual abuse."If he [Mwape] wants to sleep with someone, you have to say yes. It's normal for the coach to sleep with the players in our team. They are threatened with sanctions if they dare say anything about what happened," revealed a source close to the players. When questioned immediately, FAZ President Adrian Kashala commented: "Although we have no record of any official complaints from anyone about these allegations, we consider them to be very serious and have opened an investigation into the matter. The case has been referred to FIFA and the Zambian police.
‼️ Chanda será reemplazada en Zambia.
📌 Aunque medios locales apuntan que la del Madrid CFF arrastraba una lesión, también dicen que fue señalada como una de las líderes de las protestas por impagos.
🗨️ "Indisciplinada y una mala influencia", dijo la FAZ.
— Relevo (@relevo) July 21, 2023
2 years without bonus payments
And that's not all. The frustration within the Zambian national team is also due to the non-payment of bonuses. With just a few hours to go before Matchday 1 of the 2023 World Cup, the players have not received a penny since the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. According to the English daily: "Since arriving at their base camp in New Zealand for the World Cup last week, the players have reportedly been taking part in silent protests, which consisted of travelling to training sessions and matches without singing, a tradition which is nonetheless customary. They were also forced to sign a controversial code of conduct, which has been described as imposing "ridiculous restrictions" on the players during their stay at the camp."