SO Chipolopolo assistant coach Irfan Kawri has made a 180 degrees turn and returned from Rwanda, three days before Zambia takes on Zimbabwe in their opening game at the fourth Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament in Rwanda.
Kawri came in and was in charge of training for lengthy periods and left with the team. It is our hope that the new shakeup will not affect the team’s zeal and performance going into this tournament.
Anyway, all that is negative energy and it really drains, so I will not focus on that but look to the Africa Nations Championship with some hope of success.
Success is needed indeed because it has been long since the national team went to a tournament and came off with a good result with 2015 bringing some strangely consistent bad tournament outings.
The Chipolopolo, Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 all went to their respective continental tournaments and mastered just one win and that from the Under-20, though they were knocked out at group stage.
So with 2015 gone, it is the responsibility of the George Lwandamina side to exorcise the ghosts of 2015 and start showering the fans with fresh good gifts for the year 2016.
A look at the group brings hope as Zambia can not fail to get past Zimbabwe, whom they play on Tuesday and also Uganda in the second game, both of which if they win, will play Mali as a formality.
This is why a win in the first game is really important because it makes a team master of its own destiny and that is what Zambia should do when it faces a troubled Zimbabwe.
Winning the group would mean staying in Rubavu for the quarter-final where Zambia may face teams in Group C which has three West African countries including one North African in Tunisia.
It is a dream that is possible and that is where strong resolve will be needed.
Winning a competitive tournament like this one can never be a walk in the park and to win, you need to beat the best, so there can be no short cuts to success.
It’s all the best Chipolopolo.
I think I have said enough and hope I do not get delayed to the airport where I must be catching an Air Rwanda flight to Kigali where I hope to be on the ground informing you of the happenings.
But I can still sneak in two lines and this from what was discussed on Supersport’s Soccer Africa about CAF and who need to step up in their administration with Samuel Kuffour saying CAF should copy from FIFA by inviting African football stars to give awards and not nurses or soldiers.
What struck me was the lack of care for African stars and reminds me of the fact that Issa Hayatou never bothered to come to Zambia upon the death of the national team in 1993, he is still being awaited. His former boss Sepp Blatter did manage to come.
Togo goalie Kodjovi Obilale, shot in Cabinda on the way to the Africa Cup has a fractured spine and while he has received help from FIFA, CAF has not helped with even a single Cent. It’s not just right.
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