Yesterday evening we went round to visit Jennifer and Amock.
'Did you see the TV news last night?' asked Sara, as she took her first sip of the brandy. 'All that endless ritual for the World Cup draw, with that greasy little Splat Blabber, spluttering and blabbering, explaining how soccer is going to develop Africa.'
'At least he's got some ideas,' said Jennifer. 'Zambia has tried everything over the past forty years, and we're in a worse mess than when we started.'
'According to Splat Blabber,' said Sara,
'International football tournaments will bring in more tourists and more foreign exchange. And building more stadiums will solve the unemployment problem.'
'Not only stadiums,' said Jennifer. 'More football academies to train footballers, more police to control football hooligans, more hospitals to treat their wounds, more commerce to sell tickets, more buses for transporting fans, and more airlines to bring in the tourists. Lots of revenue, job creation and direct foreign investment! A complete football economy!'
'It'll need a completely different form of government,' I suggested. 'Shall we still need State House?'
'Of course not,' said Jennifer. 'Everything will be controlled by Football House, and the President of FAZ will become President of Zambia.'
'But we can't have Kashula Bwalwa as president,' I protested. 'He is known to hit journalists in the face. We need an experienced politician who has the sense to use party cadres to do his dirty work.'
'That's the plan,' said Jennifer. 'Nyamasoya will do the job. Although he has completely messed up at State House, he was very good as FAZ president, and is expected to do well again.'
'So what will happen to State House?'
'It will become the Africa Museum for Abandoned Ideologies and Pomposities, a great attraction for tourists interested in the past history of poverty and exploitation, before the Glorious Age of Football.
Suddenly Amock took a whistle out of his pocket and blew a long blast. 'Half-time!' he declared.
'Why half-time?' we all demanded.
'We're half-way down the bottle,' he explained, as he poured another round. 'And I declare the home team to be ahead by two goals to nil.'
'That's not fair,' Sara protested. 'Jennifer hasn't even explained what happens to parliament or the judiciary in the new Republic of Football.'
'Then I shall easily score another couple of goals,' laughed Jennifer. 'First of all you have to understand that this will be a one-party state, since everybody will have to play football. This is where Nyamasoya has such valuable past experience. Multi-party will change to multi-team, where teams may oppose each other provided they are all playing the same game. Parliament therefore becomes the Football League, supervised by Football House.'
'Which teams will play?' I wondered.
'Much as before,' said Jennifer. 'MMD, the Mighty Mufulira Destroyers; PF, the Patriotic Footballers; FDD, the Football Dancing Devils.
As you know, some years ago United Pirates and the Namwala Demons merged to form the UPND.'
'But what happens to the judiciary?' persisted Sara.
'They will be employed by Football House as referees, with all appeals being decided by Nyamasoya. Similarly the Electoral Commission will be controlled and paid by Nyamasoya to supervise his periodic re-election.'
'But will the new Republic be able to eliminate corruption?' I wondered.
'The previous role of State House as an import-export agency will be normalised and legalised once Football House takes over. The FAZ President will be responsible for arranging all contracts for football kit imports and player exports, with the Bank of Football setting the exchange rate. All profits from these deals will go towards financing the Cabinet, now called Chipolopolo.'
'So does this also explain why little Kafupi Mupupu was let out of jail?' demanded Sara.
'Of course. MMD needs him as the master dribbler who knows how to steal the ball, steal the match and steal the cup.'
'So what will happen to all those magnificent state occasions, where we had to listen to long meaningless speeches, lay flowers, march up and down, salute the president and sing the National Anthem?'
'All consigned to the dustbin of history,' laughed Jennifer. 'We shall remain with only football matches and the Football Anthem.' She put down her brandy glass and began to sing…
Stand and sing of Football,
Kick and run,
Joy of winning is such fun,
Victory in the World Cup is our right,
We'll win dirty fight,
All won, when we've done,
Praise be to Blabber,
Praise be, praise be,
Mad men we scream
In the shirts of our team,
Football, praise the fun,
Our cup, when we've won.
'But according to the African Union Women's Protocol,' said Sara, 'each team must be half men and half women.'
Immediately Amock blew his whistle hard and pointed at Sara. 'Red card! You're sent off!' Then he blew his whistle again. 'End of game! The bottle's empty! The home team has won by five goals to nil!'
'You can't be the referee,' I protested, 'you're one of the players!'
'Under Nyamasoya,' he laughed, 'anything is possible!'
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