GOVERNMENT says the new national team coach will be engaged by the first week of August.
And Zambia interim coach George Lwandamina is confident his charges will qualify for the Rwanda 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals.
Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport Ronald Chitotela said this when addressing players in the dressing room at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka on Saturday.
Zambia beat Namibia 6-5 on penalties after the teams were tied 3-3 on aggregate over two legs.
Namibia won 2-1 in Windhoek and Zambia triumphed with a similar margin in Lusaka.
Chitotela said Government is set with emoluments for the national team coach and is in the process of writing to the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) to expedite the recruitment process.
He said Government has done its homework regarding the sourcing of funds and the onus is on FAZ to recruit.
“As Government we want to reiterate and confirm that come 1st August, we are ready to pay for the coach, so it will be up to FAZ to pick whichever coach they would want to employ and within the coming week we are writing to FAZ to request them to begin the process of recruiting the coach,” said Chitotela, who was flanked by Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President Stephen Kampyongo and Chawama member of Parliament Lawrence Sichalwe.
He said the money for the salary of the coach was sourced from various corporate bodies that will be remitting to Government to pay the coach.
“It is the responsibility of Government to pay the senior national team coach. We are ready as Government and to make it crystal clear next week will not end. We shall write to FAZ,” Chitotela said.
He said football in Zambia is second to religion.
Zambia will face Mozambique, who clobbered Seychelles 9-1 on aggregate, in the last round.
“This is the only game that brings us together and when the national team is doing well there is unity in the nation and the results we have seen today [Saturday] after a dry spell have excited all of us,” Chitotela said.
And Lwandamina said the victory has boosted players’ morale going into the last round.
Lwandamina is optimistic his troops will make it to the CHAN finals and that the team’s strategy going forward is to continue with attacking football.
“There are no easy games in football nowadays. All the teams have improved, so we have to do our homework right,” he said.