Soccer Review with STEPHEN PHIRI
IN 79 DAYSâ€™ time, Zambia will start the campaign for a slot at the 2018 Russia World Cup but the country is yet to engage a national team coach, an expatriate, I am told.
The Chipolopolo will host Nigeria on October 1 before facing Cameroon in Yaounde on November 7 and wrapping up the first round against Algeria.
On Sunday, Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development Ronald Chitotela announced that the engagement of a coach has not been budgeted for.
Chitotela said Government has several competing needs such as construction of roads, hospitals, schools, among others, a reason I find to be very genuine.
While we are procrastinating, Algeria have named Serbian Milovan Rajevac as their coach as Nigeriaâ€™s process of recruiting a coach is ongoing.
Let me start by indicating clearly that I do not subscribe to a foreign national team coach for Zambia at the moment because I believe our challenges are different from countries that need an expatriate.
But thatâ€™s a subject for another day; today I want to satisfy those with a belief that we should recruit a foreign coach for us to make an impact or qualify for the 2018 Russia World Cup.
It is better the recruitment is done now because planning is a long process. We cannot be talking about a foreign coach for one year. Itâ€™s either we recruit a credible coach or we still continue with our very own.
A number of European coaches – Frenchmen Philippe Troussier and Sebastien Desabre, Raoul Savoy of Switzerland, Italian Dario Bonetti and Tom Saintfiet of Belgium, among others, have shown interest in taking charge of the Chipolopolo.
The task of sourcing funds should not be left to FAZ and Government but it should be everyoneâ€™s responsibility. Itâ€™s not enough to say there are no funds and on the other hand want good results.
Companies, individuals and Zambians at large should come on board with all sorts of contributions.
Quality coaches are expensive. A coach worth his name could demand for more than US$70,000 as monthly salary, though I am told one of the applicants is comfortable with a US$10,000.
The National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) has led the way to provide a house for the Chipolopolo coach.
What are other companies offering? I know the economy is biting but there is need for companies and individuals to show patriotism by offering the little they have in their coffers.
There are so many companies that could be rounded up to contribute to the noble cause.
I am suggesting to FAZ officials to write and knock on the doors of chief executive officers of parastatal and private organisations.
With a bit of persuasion, some companies could just unleash some millions of Kwacha towards the engagement of a national team coach.
But if money is not found, FAZ should let George Lwandamina continue leading the Chipolopolo.
The technical bench could be strengthened by the likes of Dan Kabwe and Wedson Nyirenda.
Zambia is not short of coaches to bring success.
I wish Zesco United success in Saturdayâ€™s CAF Champions League Group A clash against Ivorian side Asec Mimosas.
Smarting from a 2-0 defeat to Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca, Zesco need support and encouragement when Asec visit Ndola.
Both Asec and Zesco have three points apiece but the Ivorians have a healthier goal aggregate and this is how dicey the group has become.
Leaders Wydad have six points while Egyptian side Al Ahly have nothing.
All the best Zesco and lets interact on email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Soccer Review with STEPHEN PHIRI