EXPELLED Chipolopolo skipper Christopher Katongo has accepted the move by Chipolopolo coach Honour Janza to kick him out of the squad.
Katongo said in an interview yesterday that he respected Janza’s decision as every coach can decide on which players to keep for a particular game.
He wished the team the best of luck in this evening’s clash against the Menas.
Katongo is reported to have differed with Janza over some technical tactics being used in the ongoing 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
According to insiders in the Chipolopolo camp, Katongo allegedly disagreed with Janza’s tactics and team selection which the 2012 AFCON winning captain felt will makeZambia fail to reach the Morocco finals next year.
The differences reached a boiling point when Katongo allegedly left the team’s camp at Mukuba Hotel in Ndola without permission from the Chipolopolo management team, leading to his banishment from the squad.
But other sources said the team management were allegedly dismayed with Katongo’s conduct in camp including the way he took the captain’s armband from Nathan Sinkala during the weekend’s AFCON Group F qualifier in Niger.
The source said Katongo, who also started on the bench in Cape Verde, behaved in similar fashion when Stoppila Sunzu had the armband.
It is also reported that Katongo approached the team’s management requesting that the players be paid their US$2,000 bonus after drawing 0-0 with Niger in Niamey.
Meanwhile, Zambia Football Coaches Association vice-president, Lewis Shambulo said Janza was right in dismissing Katongo as he was a senior player who was supposed to lead by example.
Shambulo said Katongo, who was sent away from camp some 48 hours before Zambia’s crucial AFCON qualifier against Niger, should not have undermined the authority by behaving in a way he allegedly did in camp.
Chipoplolo Soccer Fans Association chairperson, Yotam Mwanza said if the move was aimed at instilling discipline in the team, then it was welcome and challenged the remaining players to rise to the challenge and perform better.
He said what was important was for the squad to build a team spirit if they were to qualify for the AFCON finals next year.
“If the move was aimed at instilling discipline in the team then it is welcome because every club has got its rules and regulations,” Mwanza said.
Zambia Sports Fans Association chairperson, Peter Makembo said discipline was the most cardinal thing in every organisation and that Katongo’s predicament should set as example to all players.
He said that despite Katongo leaving, the team was still intact because even in Niamey at the weekend, the veteran player was relegated to the bench.
Makembo said the Chipolopolo should play to win today’s game against the Menas as it would be a gift for Zambia’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.
He appealed to Chipoplolo fans to turn up in numbers and give maximum support to the players.
Katongo was sent away from the team camp on Monday in what was described as Janza’s bold move aimed at bolstering team spirit and unity in the Chipolopolo.
Niger vs Zambia | Zambia vs Niger | chipolopolo vs Niger
Times of Zambia