FIFA fines Zambia for rowdy fans

Lusaka (Zambia), June 12 (IANS) The world football governing body FIFA has fined Zambia following the hurling of missiles on the pitch by some fans during last weekend's Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier game against Lesotho.

FIFA has fined Zambia $10,000 after jubilant fans hurled an assortment of objects such as plastic bottles and empty cans of beer onto the pitch as Zambia thrashed Lesotho 4-0 in a game played at the ultra-modern 40,000-seater Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola City on the Copperbelt Province, Xinhua reports.

Erick Mwanza, the spokesperson of the local soccer governing body, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), who confirmed the development, has since made a passionate appeal to football fans to celebrate with dignity and honour.

He said if the action by some fans was repeated this Saturday when Zambia play Sudan in another World Cup qualifier match at the same venue, Zambia will risk playing behind closed doors at home in future international engagements.

"We all need to be responsible for safeguarding our infrastructure and our continued enjoyment of such modern facilities as the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium can only be guaranteed if we guard them jealously. We should also engage in activities and celebrations that may not raise unnecessary alarm, but adhere to the rules and regulations that govern events hosted at such arenas," he said.

The local sport's governing body has since restricted the sales of tickets for the game against Sudan in order to avoid disorderly behaviour.

According to the spokesperson, the demand for tickets for the Sudan game is so high and that over three million people want a share of the 37,000 tickets on sale.

Zambia lead Group D on 10 points, one better than Ghana with Lesotho lying third on two points while Sudan are the tail-enders on one point.

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