Burkina Faso’s decision to pull out of the scheduled match against Pitso Mosimane’s side in Rustenburg saw Safa announce ‘The Harambee Stars’ as their new opponents on Wednesday night.
But that was news to the legendary Bwalya, who had believed everything was in place for Zambia to play Kenya in Nairobi’s Nyaya Stadium on the same evening.
“There is no way they can do this so soon before the match was going to take place. Everyone knew we were supposed to be playing Kenya, but Safa have pushed us out of the way for their own interests and I don’t think that is ethical,” he tells KickOff.com.
“We have already sent out information to all the players in the squad telling them to report on Sunday for the match. So for Kenya to suddenly pull out boggles the mind.”
At a press conference on Thursday to announce the Bafana squad for the match, Safa president Kirsten Nematandani was at pains to point out that he was unaware of Zambia’s arrangement.
“Relationships (with other national associations) are important but we needed a game,” he stated. “We didn’t know that Kenya already had something arranged and we wouldn’t just go out and snatch an opponent from another country.”
But Bwalya was fuming in response to those comments. “That is exactly what they have done,” he says.
“If Safa have negotiated with Kenya at our expense then I don’t think they care about our relationship at all. It’s very sad because I always thought they valued our support.”