By GRACE CHAILE –
PATRICE Beaumelle says he is ready to sign a new deal with the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) as that would help fulfil his dream of qualifying the Chipolopolo for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.
Beaumelle, whose contract ends on July 1, said during a media briefing at Football House in Lusaka yesterday that he would be happy to extend his contract and carry on as Chipolopolo trainer.
He said his dream is to qualify the Chipolopolo for the World Cup finals because the team had potential to play at such a tournament but was quick to add that attaining that feat would call for a lot of work from all stakeholders.
“I will be happy to sign a new contract and extend my stay with the team for it has been my dream since coming to Zambia in 2008 to see the Chipolopolo qualify for the World Cup finals,” he said.
Beaumelle said if allowed to stay on for four years, he would use the 2015 Morocco and 2017 Libya Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) editions to build on qualification for the 2018 World Cup to be hosted by Russia.
He said he was happy with the various programmes he has embarked on aimed at coming up with a strong Chipolopolo that should qualify for the AFCON as well as the World Cup finals.
“This is why we need to resume our training in preparation for the Africa Cup qualifiers because we shall play six games in three months. We need to make most of the time especially that August has no FIFA international friendly date,” he said.
He urged the local players to prove themselves during the league games if they were to be called for national duties ahead of the qualifiers, adding that the players have a lot to learn from the on-going Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup finals.
“It is these small details that we always tend to ignore and we can see how big teams have been eliminated by these so called small teams. Zambia has the potential to play at the World Cup but players will need to work extra hard,” he said.
Beaumelle has attributed the poor performance of African teams at the on-going World Cup in Brazil to pressure exerted on them heading into the competition.
He said African teams usually start under pressure scared of playing at the higher level and that by the time they upped their game, they would have already been eliminated.
Meanwhile, FAZ communications manager Nkweto Tembwe said the Appeals Committee upheld the two decisions made earlier by the disciplinary committee involving cases of unplayed matches due to mix-up in communication.
He said the committee had awarded Lusaka Dynamos three points and a 2-0 score over Kafue Celtic and similar decision also awarded to Mazabuka United over Lusaka Tigers.