Renard expects fruitful clash against Senegal

Zambia 2-0 Zimbabwe - Chipolopolo Cosafa Cup champions @ Levi Mwanawasa Stadium
Zambia 2-0 Zimbabwe - Chipolopolo Cosafa Cup champions @ Levi Mwanawasa Stadium
Zambia 2-0 Zimbabwe – Chipolopolo Cosafa Cup champions @ Levi Mwanawasa Stadium

ZAMBIA coach Herve Renard is hopeful that next month’s international friendly against Senegal in Paris will not be another 2009 London debacle in which the Chipolopolo featured some students against Ghana to make up the numbers.
The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) in August 2009 failed to round up foreign-based players due to visa complications for the international friendly against Ghana and Renard ended up using three Zambia amateurs based in London.
Ghana battered the make shift Chipolopolo side 4-1.
Renard said at a press briefing in Lusaka on Wednesday that operations at the FAZ secretariat have improved.
“The FAZ secretariat has improved unlike in 2009. For the match against France I got involved immediately I knew that we will be playing Senegal in Paris. I told the manager (Lusekelo Kamwambi) to start getting in touch with the players.
“For Emmanuel Mayuka, he is in Spain with his team (Southampton) and he has already a visa. Jacob Mulenga (of Dutch side FC Utrecht) is in already in Europe and that won’t be a problem. But it won’t be easy for Christopher Katongo and James Chamanga who are in China. I hope everything will be perfect,” he said.
Renard described the August 12, 2009 debacle was “the worst memory of my career. We were ridiculous.”
Both Zambia and Senegal will be using the match on August 14 to prepare for World Cup qualifiers against Ghana and Uganda, respectively.
Zambia have 11 points, one behind leaders Ghana in Group D while Senegal are on top of Group J with nine points, one better than Uganda.
And Renard said Ghana want to assemble a formidable team for the match against the Chipolopolo because they know it will be a tough tie.
The Ayew brothers Andre and Jordan who campaign for French side Olympique Marseille and midfielder Kelvin-Prince Boateng of Italian side AC Milan have all ended their self-imposed retirement from the Black Stars.
“They want to have a best team to represent the Black Stars. They have to be ready because they have a tough international game. This is what we like. When there is no pressure then it is football for madalas,” Renard said.
He also said he has respect for Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah.
Both Renard and Appiah were assistants to veteran Claude Le Roy when the Black Stars finished third at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, which Ghana hosted.
“We were at the same level with him (Appiah) and we learnt our job, got experience from a good coach Mr Le Roy. I wish he (Appiah) will congratulate me after the match and not the other way,” Renard said.
Meanwhile, Renard said there is need to have a league for young players in the country.
Giving his personal opinion on the way forward for Zambian football, Renard said Zambian players are talented.
He said during the talent idenfication programme the national team technical staff conducted this year, he saw massive talent in rural areas.
“We discovered young players born in 1996 and 1997 and they are the future of the country. There is no league for young players. FAZ should have a league for young players and this is my opinion. The players should be exposed to good level of competition.
“It is difficult for most of them to find space in the Super Division. During Super Division matches there are no curtain raisers. FAZ should have an academy. All around the word academies are there under the federation. I am not talking for FAZ and I am not making decisions. This is my opinion,” Renard said.