By SANDRA MWILA and ADRIAN MWANZA –
THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) says it will not force Charly Musonda Junior to play for the Chipolopolo as former national team coach Fred Mwila urged Zambians to respect the Musonda family’s decision regarding the call-up.
Meanwhile, Charles Musonda senior has questioned FAZ’s decision to call his son without first talking to him or the family and also hit out at those calling him unpatriotic.
Chipolopolo coach George Lwandamina on Friday summoned Chelsea star Charly, who is on loan at Real Betis in Spain, to play for Zambia in the two Africa Cup qualifiers against Congo Brazzaville.
The youngster is yet to make a decision on whether to don the Chipolopolo colours especially that he qualifies to play for Belgium and even England, who might dangle the Euro 2016 finals as an incentive.
Although some reports in Belgium claimed that Charly has snubbed the Zambian call up while his mother, Angela, said her family must not be bothered over the issue as the player will make his choice.
Musonda is quoted on social media as saying that the call-up surprised him especially that he usually chats with Lwandamina whom he has been friends with since his schooldays but wondered if the move was genuine.
“I always talk to Lwandamina, we have been friends since Zambia School days, the call he made surprised me, I have great respect for him and I will continue to be his friend. I know if he really had to make a decision he was going to call me and talk, like we always do while I am in Ndola visiting.. I would have known if it was serious.
“I have limits and I’ve limited myself knowing I never contributed enough for the nation because of my injury but some people took advantage of that situation to damage my image beyond, only reasonable Zambian people who knew me personally are with me,” Musonda wrote.
But FAZ club licensing manager Erick Mwanza said in an interview yesterday that the association will respect Charly’s decision whether to accept or decline the national team call up.
Mwanza said it was every player’s responsibility to play for their nation and will not force any one in case they decline.
“It is every players responsibility to play for the nation and if Charly has refused we will not force him, we will respect his decision,” Mwanza said.
Mwanza said Lwandamina will work with the available ammunition to gun down Congo Brazzaville during the qualifiers slated for March 23 in Ndola and 26 in Brazzaville.
“The Chipolopolo carries on and people should know that no one is bigger than the Chipolopolo. The coach will still use the available ammunitions against Congo,” Mwanza said.
He said the standard practice which applies whenever players are called was equally used in Charly’s case.
And Mwila said in as much as Charly was born of Zambian parents, he was Belgian and that the decision was up to him and his family.
Mwila said he was aware that Charly was an instrumental player who could bring in a new flare to the team but it was clear that he needed to be given more time to decide.