I was at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium when Zesco United destroyed JKU of Zanzibar in a historical game for the club as they recorded the biggest win by a Zambian club in CAF interclub competition 7-0.
With that result, they head to the first round of the 2018 Total CAF Champions League against ASEC Mimosa of Ivory Coast.
But that triumph was clouded by the whispers of eminent second coming of ‘Chicken’ George Lwandamina that has been hanging over the club ahead of the second leg against JKU. It should have been hard for the technical bench to prepare for the game while knowing at the back of their heads that the club is looking to hand the team to someone else.
If they were cynical, they would have sabotaged the team progress in the CAF Champions League because they are not part of the future. I can image the reaction from players as the news filtered through that the coach won’t be in charge much longer.
But I should give it to Tenant Chembo who went about the business with dignity and poise leading Zesco to their historical win and his selection underlined the desire to playing attacking football as he went with offensive players as opposed to the usual two defensive midfielders.
It was in the post-match press conference where the man’s stature grew to a giant in my eyes by the manner in which he handled the questions concerning his future at the club.
TC was candid in admitting that as a human being, he was touched by the news and it tinted the preparations for the game but he had to be professional and do the job no matter the circumstances. I think Zesco have not been sincere with the way they dealt with TC as a long serving Stewart of the club. They lead him on with promises but left him hanging by the junction.
With that said, TC is also partly to blame because he should have put pressure on the Zesco United hierarchy to make the decision early enough when there were vacancies around the Super League because now they have been filled. He has a running contract so he will be forced to see it out.
Word on the streets is that Lwandamina is coming with his own backroom staff. Your guess is as good as mine where TC and company will end up.
As good a coach as Lwandamina is, second stints at clubs usually are short and end up badly. Examples are plenty in the world of football even at the biggest clubs in the world. All the best ‘Chicken George’.
Before I head out what’s going on in the chess federation? For a sports federation like yours, the bickering going on amongst officials is uncalled for.
Instead of growing the sport, you are tearing it apart and if anyone harbours ambitions of leading the federation, that one must be bringing people together instead of fanning confusion.
Let us stop this in-fighting and do what’s good for the sport.
Keep the conversation @LukhandaSamuel or firstname.lastname@example.org