Patrice explains Kalaba’s snub

Rainford Kalaba
Rainford Kalaba

NATIONAL team coach Patrice Beaumelle says no player is bigger than the Chipolopolo.
Beaumelle, who was reacting to a question on why he left out TP Mazembe mid maestro Rainford Kalaba from tomorrow’ international friendly against Egypt, said the 27-year old was omitted on disciplinary grounds after a fall out from last month’s international friendly against Brazil.
Beaumelle said in an interview at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka on Monday that Kalaba is still part of the team.
Kalaba, who has rediscovered his form at the  Congolese giants and his compatriots were involved in a country versus club row prior to Zambia’s international friendly against Brazil.
Sinkala and Sunzu have however been named in Beaumelle’s 23-member squad.
Mazembe refused to release the trio to be examined in Beijing by Chipolopolo physician Joseph Kabungo, alleging that the Zambian internationals were unfit to travel.
Meanwhile, former Football Association of Zambia executive committee member Marcha Chilemena has called on Beaumelle to iron out differences with Kalaba.
Chilemena said in Lusaka yesterday that it is not a secret that Kalaba is the most skilful player in the Chipolopolo squad.
He said like any human being, Kalaba has made mistakes in the past but should be given a benefit of doubt.
“Beaumelle should tell us if he invited Kalaba and the player turned down the invitation. He (Beaumelle) should not use a negative to correct a negative. He should be his own man. He should not paint Kalaba black in the eyes of Zambians,” Chilemena said.
He also urged Beaumelle to cast his net wide and try out several players plying their trade abroad.
Chilemena named Jack Chileshe, Danny Hangunyu, Given Singuluma among others as some of the players who should be considered for national duty.