MUKWIMA CHILALA writes
IT’S UNFAIR for the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) to be blamed for Zambia’s failure to qualify to both the 2017 and 2019 AFCON says FAZ president Andrew Kamanga.
Kamanga challenged the media against being sensational but instead be factual when reporting about Zambia’s failure to qualify to the 2017 and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Speaking in an interview with The Sun sport, Kamanga said that in as much he did not want to give excuses about the Zambia’s failure to qualify to the 2017 AfCON, it was important for people to understand the eventualities that led to Zambia missing out on qualification.
He said that it was not right for people to create an impression that his executive was responsible for missing out on the 2017 AFCON when he got elected president of FAZ.
He explained that at the time he was getting into office during the course of the qualifiers, the national team had had already played two games leaving his executive with 6 games to administer.
“We are talking about 20th March 2016 when we were elected, the nation team was already in camp and they had already dropped points, so in that competition we had 6 games to play, and we had the two in that very week, so from the maximum 6 points we only collected two draws
“So obviously you’ve literally lost four games from the qualifiers, but of course everybody has been made to believe that we are responsible for the failure to qualify when we only had two games and the first one was the outing to Guinea which we lost 3-2 and the last game we drew against Kenya, “said Kamanga
Kamanga explained from that perspective even if he became a magician, it was unfair to be bombarded with so much me negative publicity by the media.
“Which ever name you want to give me, I think we should always report factually, so for 2017 we don’t want to give excuses, it’s something that we do not want to say, but in all fairness I’ll leave that one to your judgment whether indeed we were responsible for the 2017 failure but again these are the things you can always research and report facts,” he said.
Kamanga however said that his executive took full responsibility for the failure to qualify to the 2019 AfCON.
He said that the first game defined failure to progress because the team lost to Kenya thereby creating the biggest hurdle for the team.
Kamanga further said that his first plan was to find a good coach after being elected but could not do so because government could not authorize the money that the best candidate he had found was demanding.
He said that his executive settled for Sven Vandebroek because he was the only one willing to accept US$10, 000 salary that Government had offered.
Kamanga recently said that FAZ would be engaging a new coach following the departure of Vandebroek whose contract was not renewed.