Giving a overview of events of the year, Kambwili highlighted the disappointing manner in which Zambia surrendered the Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) football title to Nigeria in South Africa.
The Chipolopolo, as defending AFCON champions, went out at the group stage without winning a single match after drawing all the first three games.
Kambwili said Government was not happy with the performance of most of the international sporting activities Zambia took part in because most of them did not yield good results.
“This year has been disastrous for sports in the country. Our sports men and women performed below par, not to Government’s expectations and we want to see a better 2014. We want to see good results,” he said. (Turn to Page 31)
Kambwili called for an urgent meeting next month for all sports associations to find a lasting solution and avoid the episodes of 2013 from recurring.
“All sports associations in the country should wake up and organise themselves and find solutions for the year 2014,” he said.
Football, basketball, badminton and cricket were among the sporting disciplines that were highlighted as having performed below acceptable standards.
Kambwili said most of the tournaments that Zambia hosted or attended did not bring victory to the country, citing the recent Africa Youth Swimming Gala held last month at the 90-Day Legacy Swimming Pool where Zambia only minted one bronze medal.
While Kambwili bitterly complained about a poor showing in 2013, he retained some hope as he believes the newly constituted board of the Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) could see Zambia yield good results in the 2014 sporting season.
“As we come to the end of 2013, I urge all sports associations to put this year’s bad performance behind them and look forward to a greater 2014 sports season,” he said.
Apart from failing to retain the AFCON title this year, Zambia was also booted out in the race for a place at FIFA 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil despite once holding a clear advantage over arch rivals and eventual qualifiers, Ghana.
The developmental team also failed to make it to the Africa National Championship (CHAN) finals after losing to Zimbabwe and also managed to reach only the semi-finals at the just-ended GOtv CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup tournament in Kenya.
The national Under-20 team did not help matters also by going out in the first round of the COSAFA Youth championship in Lesotho despite heading to the mountainous kingdom as defending champions.
Zambia’s Under-20 and under-17 national players also watched their respective World Cup finals from their living-rooms while the local clubs did not perform any better in continental football.
Both Zanaco and Power Dynamos, playing in the Champions League and Confederation Cup respectively, were kicked out in the first round.
South Africa’s Orlando Pirates, who knocked out Zanaco Champions League, lost the finals to Egyptian giants, Al Ahly.
There were further disappointing results from the Zone Six Clubs tournament held in Zambia as well as the regional basketball championships where Zambia failed to get a medal.
But there were moments of happiness the Minister could look to and among them was the developmental team winning the COSAFA Castle Senior Challenge Cup s regional as well as the women under-17 team qualifying to the World Cup.
There was even better joy in boxing as female boxer Catherine Phiri successfully defended her Women International Boxing Association (WIBA) bantamweight title and added the Africa Boxing Union (ABU) belt to her rising collection.
In motor sport, Jassy Singh claimed his first Africa Rally championship title, but with Zambia even happier as he grabbed it from another Zambian in Mohammed Essa with Dave Sihoka also winning the Africa best navigator award.
The national women volleyball team made it to the last stage of World Cup qualifiers.
Times of Zambia