Hotline was intrigued to hear that a temporary closure at one of the world’s biggest cobalt metal operations had sparked some concerns about the fate of a football team.

Rest assured football fans, these concerns have been allayed for now.

Zambian Division One (North) Chambishi Football Club secretary Douglas Muma was forced to confirm that Chambishi Metals Plc remains committed to sponsoring the team this season, despite the shutdown.

Muma said in an interview with the Zambia Daily Mail that the mining firm wants the team to bounce back to Super Division next year.

Chambishi Metals, which is owned by ENRC, will close its cobalt plant for three months, a move which has seen 170 workers sent on forced leave by management.

“No, the team is not going to be affected and it has not been affected anyway. Right now they are in camp preparing for ... [the] game. There is nothing to worry about,” Muma reportedly said.

Chambishi were demoted to the lower league in 2009 after the company pulled out, citing the global economic crunch. The team has failed to return to the elite league, according to the newspaper.

When a manager receives a vote of confidence from the owner of a club it is traditionally seen as a harbinger of doom. Let’s hope that Muma’s words do not carry similar connotations…