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Redeem yourselves

MY phone kept ringing on Saturday night after Zambia’s goalless draw with Niger in the 2015 Morocco Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Niamey.
The angry fans took me to task asking me why the Chipolopolo were firing blanks.
“You are the person who writes about the national team and why are we not winning? We need an explanation,” a Lusaka-based fan, Richard Mbita, asked.
I told Mbita and the other fans that as a journalist, I was only a conveyor belt and if they had any queries, they should direct them to national team coach Honour Janza and Football Association of Zambia president Kalusha Bwalya.
By the way, Janza dropped former skipper Christopher Katongo.
Janza described Katongo’s sidelining as a ‘technical decision’.
Anyway, we are back at what we know best – engaging in mathematics or going back to the drawing board.
From a possible nine points, we have collected a paltry two!
We have no choice but to beat Niger tonight at Ndola’s Levy Mwanawasa Stadium to get our qualification back on track.
Anything less than victory will see Zambia, the 2012 African champions, not among the 16 finalists in Morocco.
This will be sad considering that Zambia is among the giants in African football.
What has gone wrong with our national team?
Is it that age is catching up with some players or Janza is getting his tactics wrong?
These are the questions the 13 million Zambians are asking.
If some players are tired, Janza should act by phasing them out and bringing in fresh legs. I was impressed with under-20 midfielder Charles Zulu’s performance in the match against Niger.
Janza should also cast his net wide by summoning players who are scoring in the local league.
Zesco United’s Jackson Mwanza, Ronald Kampamba of Nkana, Zanaco’s Moses Phiri, the Power Dynamos’ duo of Alex Ng’onga and Jimmy Ndhlovu are some of the players who have the eye for goal.
But these players are nowhere near the national team.
Mwanza is the Super Division topscorer with 15 goals.
If we are not careful, we are heading the Cameroon and Egypt way.
Cameroon failed to qualify for the 2012 and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations editions because of depending on old players and Egypt have not competed at the continental showpiece since 2010.
Luckily for Cameroon, they have introduced young talent and results are there for all to see. The Indomitable Lions are Morocco-bound.
Good luck to the Chipolopolo in tonight’s match against Niger.,