GOVERNMENT has directed the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) to find an assistant for Chipolopolo coach Honour Janza ahead of the remaining Morocco 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili said yesterday that it did not matter whether the coach to be hired would be local or foreign but as long as the Chipolopolo technical benched got beefed up to ensure qualification.
“I am directing FAZ to find a coach to help Janza at the senior national team so that Zambia qualifies to the Africa Cup. Everyone can see that things are not well there and something needs to be done fast,” Kambwili said.
Asked whether the coach would come in as an assistant or head coach, Kambwili said that Government does not want to be interfering with the running of FAZ and would let the association decide who they feel should join the technical bench and in what capacity.
Zambia has had a poor start to the 2015 AFCON qualifiers drawing 0-0 with Mozambique at home before losing 2-1 to Cape Verde to be in third place with just one point, five off the Islanders.
The opening two matches has left Zambia staring disaster in the face as they risk missing out of the 2015 AFCON, three years after been on top of Africa.
The minister said it was embarrassing that all junior national football teams were doing well and qualifying to every tournament put in front of them while the Chipolopolo was struggling.
“The Under-17 qualified to the Africa Junior Championship easily, the same was the case with the Under-20 and we also have the senior women team going to the Africa Women Championships this month.
But things are not going right with the men senior national team and it is better to act now when we can still do something about it. We have 12 points to fight for and we should make sure we get them all and Janza needs help there,” he said.
Kambwili said this to FAZ committee member Lee Kawanu, who is also in charge of youth football.
Meanwhile, Kambwili has congratulated coach Chris Kaunda for qualifying the Zambia Under-17 to the Africa Junior Championships to be staged in Niger next year adding had Kaunda failed to qualify the team to the continental games, a change of staff would have been called for.
He congratulated the Under-17 for qualifying to the continental title and warned them against complacency saying the hard world had just started.
Times of Zambia