A LOT has happened from the last time I sat to write on this space. By then, the FAZ councillors had not voted yet and Zambia had not played Congo Brazzaville.
I may have a hundred things to say to Kalusha Bwalya, the ousted FAZ president, another hundred things to Andrew Kamanga, the new FAZ president and a million things to Issa Hayatou, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) president.
I will restrict myself and will address the business executive, Andrew Kamanga on his new role as FAZ president and state what will be our expectations from him.
Looking at his manifesto, he promised quite a lot though most centered on transparency and cleaning up FAZ. These are quite cardinal issues but the fans will be more interested in what is going to happen to the league and also the national team’s performance.
There was a promise to delink the league from FAZ in order to make both bodies more efficient and from that angle, we can say all we want is better football in the local league, better pay, a pension scheme and proper contracts for players.
Also we want to see improved officiating from the referees. We can not forget the coaches because we want them improve their skills.
Talking about coaching, Kalusha did well in that area and amplified on a respected standardised coaches training system with the CAF Licenses and for the first time, I saw most former players and those about to retire quickly jumping into getting their coaching badges.
He may not have done too well in terms of scaling up refereeing and though people will quickly jump to Janny Sikazwe, there is need for a big pool of upcoming referees and that is one area that will need to be worked on.
There are also the sponsorship issues that Kalusha did relatively well because FAZ and the senior national team had multiple sponsors like MTN, Zambian Breweries, Supersport and Nike among others though there was an issue with Nike in the latter days.
This was a step forward for Zambian football and these are some good benchmarks that the new executive will have to beat.
But ultimately, the matter will be on the pitch and starting from the junior ranks as well as women football, the set standard will have to be beaten. The Zambia under-17, under-20, and under-23 teams made it to the continental competitions though they performed badly out there.
Women football took a hundred steps forward and we qualified to the World Cup at under-17 level and missed a return to the world stage at under-20 level on an away goal rule. These are some of the strides the previous executive made during their time in office. Therefore, we shall be looking to Kamanga and company with optimism to take women football a step further.
On the senior national team, it is plain and simple. Kalusha’s administration won us the Africa Cup, Mr Kamanga; take us to the World Cup.
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