Mbesuma left out of Senegal friendly squad

Collins Mbesuma

NATIONAL team coach Herve Renard has omitted skipper Christopher Katongo, strikers Collins Mbesuma and James Chamanga in his 20-member squad to face Senegal in next Wednesday’s international friendly in Paris.
Initially the China-based based duo of Katongo and Chamanga was part of the team but were left out because they would have arrived in Paris hours before the match, while ‘King David’ Mbesuma was not considered [for the squad].
Midfielder Bruce Musakanya of Red Arrows and Nkana striker Evans Kangwa have replaced Katongo and Chamanga, respectively.
According to the list released in Lusaka yesterday by Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) communications manager, Erick Mwanza, Renard has roped in nine players from the junior team that is competing in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying series.
These are goalkeeper Daniel Munyao, defenders Christopher Munthali, Bronson Chama and Kabaso Chongo and midfielder Kondwani Mtonga.
Others are strikers Festus Mbewe and Bornwell Mwape, a surprise inclusion in the squad.
“Katongo and Chamanga have a game on Sunday. They could have left China on Monday and arrive in Paris on Tuesday, 24 hours before the match. The coach decided to leave them out and fuse in two youngsters who have been in camp for more than one month.
“This gives an opportunity for the two youngsters to play with experienced players, such as Jacob Mulenga and Emmanuel Mayuka. The two are the future,” Mwanza said.
He said the coach has a right to pick players of his choice and Mbesuma, who was instrumental in South African side Orlando Pirates’ 3-0 thrashing of Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the Champions League group stage match in Cairo last Sunday, is not part of the team to face Senegal.
“If you look at this list the coach has picked there are a lot of attacking players and Mbesuma is not here but it’s not to say it is the end of him,” Mwanza said.
Mwanza added the team is scheduled to leave for Paris on Sunday ahead of the tie against the Teranga Lions.
He said players who are not eligible to participate in the CHAN qualifiers will leave on Saturday while those playing on Sunday against Zimbabwe will leave immediately after the match.
“It’s a tight programme but there is nothing we can do. We requested our colleagues Zimbabwe Football Association to bring the game forward to Saturday but they refused because traditionally they play on Sundays.
“Playing on Saturday would have made given us enough time to arrange for our trip to France,” Mwanza said.
He said the technical bench will be divided into two with one remaining in charge of the game against Zimbabwe while the other one will fly with certain players to France to lay ground for the game against Senegal.
“For now we are focusing more on the game against Zimbabwe because it is a CHAN qualifier, if we lose we can be eliminated.
“In France whatever happens will not affect us, it is just a friendly match so I am sure coach Renard will remain in Zimbabwe,” Mwanza said.
Mwanza said [added] the game against Senegal, though part of preparations for a must win 2014 World Cup qualifier against Ghana next month, will not feature all the players that will face the Black Stars in Kumasi.
He said foreign-based players will start arriving in France on Sunday.
Zambia last played Senegal at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Bata, Equatorial Guinea and the Chipolopolo won 2-1 courtesy of goals by Emmanuel Mayuka and Rainford Kalaba.
The team:
Goalkeepers: Kennedy Mweene, Daniel Munyao
Defenders: Hichani Himoonde, Stopilla Sunzu, Joseph Musonda, Davies Nkausu, Bronson Chama, Christopher Munthali, Kabaso Chongo.
Midfielders: Rainford Kalaba, Nathan Sinkala, Kondwani Mtonga, Chisamba Lungu, Fwayo Tembo, Bruce Musakanya.
Strikers: Emmanuel Mayuka, Jacob Mulenga, Festus Mbewe, Bornwell Mwape and Evans Kangwa.