By MOSES CHIMFWEMBE –
THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has dropped national Under-20 team manager Daniel Jere for the mix up in Zambia’s participation at the 2014 COSAFA Youth championship that kicks off on Thursday in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Zambia was supposed to send the Under-17 team for the championship with the Under-20 women, who are the defending champions, as stated in the COSAFA invitation letter to FAZ.
Sources close to the development yesterday revealed that Jere allegedly failed to properly advice Government when he attended a meeting at the Ministry of Sports to determine the team to represent the country at the tournament to be held under the Africa Union Sports Commission (AUSC) Region-Five Games.
The sources said during that same meeting, Jere purportedly proposed the Under-20 team to Government instead of the Under-17 that COSAFA had requested.
Sources also said the same team that Jere submitted to Government did not have the majority of players, who qualified Zambia to the Senegal 2015 Africa Youth Championship, a move that has prompted FAZ to give him the boot.
“Jere was at the centre of the mix up because he knew very well that it was the Under-17 that was supposed to compete at the tournament but he decided to mislead the Government by pushing in a wrong team that also had about 80 per cent of original players missing,” the source said.
When contacted, Jere said he could not comment on the matter as he had not received the letter.
However, FAZ executive member Lee Kawanu, who is charge of youth football, could not confirm Jere’s removal but said he (Jere) was one of the people who misled Government.
“I can’t confirm or deny that but all I would say is that Jere is one of the people at the centre of those who did not advise Government accordingly on which team to send,” Kawanu said.
He said FAZ planned to use the tournament as part of preparations for the Niger 2015 Africa Junior championships.
Kawanu said the team that Jere submitted to the ministry did not comprise the regular names in the Under-20 team and worse still the Under-17 squad hence FAZ had requested the tournament organisers to make changes to the team.
He said it would be pointless for Zambia to participate in the tournament without a credible team in place and expressed hope that the organisers will heed to FAZ’s request.
“We have been in talks with organisers in Zimbabwe because we feel it’s not viable for us to use this tournament as part of preparations for the forthcoming Africa tournaments with such a team in place. It will be a sheer waste of resources because it’s more like conducting trials.
Times of Zambia