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Blog: Zambia – Mediocrity’s paradise

By KK11

The mentality of Zambians, to support mediocrity just because it’s “Zambian”.

It does not matter if someone is mediocre or not good, we must rally behind them and support them just because they are “our own”. Kalu is not a great or good administrator but people are still rallying behind him EVEN when it’s clear he has vast shortcomings. Janza was exposed at the highest level this past African cup yet, we still stand here and clamor for him to continue on while our football is in a downward tailspin.

Who suffers in the end, the people do, the players do, the fans do! In other countries, the people in charge and the serious fans are quick to instigate or bring about change regardless of whether an individual is indigenous or not, because at the end of the day WINNING is the goal! As it stands no local coach is capable of winning the African Cup of Nations. Not because they are hopeless, but because they lack that technical knowhow, that ability to bring the best out of an average player, the ability to identify talent, the skill to put ego aside and pick players on merit and the balls to stand on their own and not be another puppet for FAZ. That’s why Renard was good for Zambia, he had most of these intangibles.

I agree that we need to urgently identify a few locals and attach them to some European teams for a season or two, so they can swim in the waters of professional football coaching at the highest levels and then bring them back to coach at the Junior levels U17/20 then proceed to the national team. It’s not only our players who require that “Professional” experience but our coaches as well.

So people can go on and on debating this issue on this site and pretend that they are solving the problem by wrapping themselves in the Zambian flag and holding that mediocre attitude even tighter…….YOU ARE DECEIVING YOURSELVES. Look at those you have entrusted with leadership at all levels. Are they the best Zambia has to offer? Are they the best reflection of you and your beliefs…….? Are they taking our football forward….? Will they take Zambia to the World Cup? It’s not about African cup anymore, we have conquered that mountain already. When the rigours of qualifying for the world cup cup come up again, do you see Kalusha and Janza navigating the perils of this treacherous route given the history they have imposed on us???? It takes more than just kicking a football to qualify for this tournament, BUT planning – travel, camping, team selection, coaching analysis etc. Not the nonsense of traveling in Batches a day or two before a game and expect miracles.

Have a technical bench who is able to have game tape of the Opponent, not giving the usual ” I don’t know much about the other team, but we will perform” when we have the Internet that is a vast arena filled with information. When we play a friendly against Rwanda, who gains more us or them? Yet we play these games just to fulfill schedules. What happened to all those high level friendlies Kalusha promised…….? Yet we still clamour for the “great Kalu”, he is still one of the best if not the best (at least the best Zambian player of my lifetime) but that does not mean he is untouchable. Accomplishments on the pitch OUTSTANDING, BUT He is simply not a good administrator and has shown the tendency for dictatorship.

What about the women’s team that was disbanded because the players rightly asked for their dues….?? Aren’t they worthy of praises and compensation for making history and representing the country magnificently and with dignity? Yet we discard them to the roadside for complaining (rightly) about not getting their due. Then we hastily assemble a shell of a team with different girls to compete and they get smashed, by a team that we had already beaten not too long ago. Now is that not stupidity at its highest?? Yet Kalusha and co are not taken to task about this and we carry on. And the girls are expendable…..???

Kalusha is using his perch atop the Zambian football ladder to further his own ambitions (whatever they maybe) at the expense of millions of Zambians who hold the game dear to their hearts. I will continue to say this, we have some of the most talented and skilled players on this continent top 4…..SKILL WISE. But we fail to harness this talent into something special, and for that we need men and women in charge of football who are capable of pushing these young men and women playing this beautifully game to the next level. But it seems we will continue to go back to the drawing board we love so much and pretending the problem is not us but someone else’s doing…..



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27 Comments to Blog: Zambia – Mediocrity’s paradise

  1. Uncle Bobs says:

    Ouch!

  2. Shi Mwewa says:

    This article is spot on!We need a serious rethink in the way we are running our beloved soccer at all levels starting with the booting out of office this current FAZ administration which has taken the goodwill of the Zambian fans for granted.

  3. Shi Luka says:

    Nice piece. However we also have the major problem of players not able to play in top leagues. Almost all our National team has been to Europe but most of them have failed to make it there. Even Sunzu who we thought was a star is now in China. I have spoken to a lot of these players and I must say, most of them are not very smart, (I’m being polite). They have serious social disadvantages and cant exist in a culture remote from the typical Zambian compound or Township. The sport is attracting characters not worth investing in. The only Zambian player to sustain a career in Europe for almost a decade is Jacob Mulenga and he is so so different from his colleagues. Surely if a guy cant see the sense of spending 12 years in school he wont see the sense in sitting on the bench and learning from the best players at a top club in a top league. Especially when his fans see such an opportunity as a negative and say something as absurd as “Balefwaya uku mu pwisha” (“They want to finish him”). And now those same guys who have failed as players think they are the only ones who can administer it. “Bushe wali teya po bola iwe” seems to be the qualification to get into administration will not help us. Bwafya

    • Uncle Bobs says:

      Point, however, even without education one can still succeed. Most important is the players having the right ATTITUDE (Want to do)above skills and talent (How to do) which needs to be backed by LEADERSHIP based on DAC (Direction, Alignment and Commitment) period. Everything we do has to be run as a project with clear milestones showing status,targets, measures,action plans/initiatives, by who and by when. We need to get away from a culture of thinking we work hard yet we hardly work.

    • Billy says:

      Bashi Luka, You’re spot on.

    • Anita says:

      @bashi Luka! You are spot on, I agree with u 100%! Succeeding in European big leagues takes more than just being skilful on the pitch. There are so many things that these boys who grew up in Zambian compounds and mine townships have to learn. Most of these boys when they go to Europe they experience culture shock! There, almost everything is computerized and these boys are coming from a back ground where they can barely read and write. They find life to be so complicated and they start feeling home sick and that affects their perfomance on the pitch! Jacob is different and when u talk to him u immediately notice the difference, no wonder he has stayed that long in Europe.

  4. mj says:

    I really support the writer of this article. we can’t continue to have a failed leadership in soccer administartion in this country. We have changed governments in th hope of bettering our country. Why then should we fail to do the same with our soccer management. Abash current FAZ administration. The rejection of the proposal by Nchanga and Afrisport to restrict the FAZ presidency contest to the executive members olny is a step in the right direction and should be the first step in the process of hounding out Kalusha and his friends.

  5. Ghana love says:

    Am so touched by this article. Am from Ghana but ur article is the real truth. I love Zambia very much and wish u guys rock shoulders with us at the world stage. Pls ur administrators and players must be seriously criticised wen the need arises. Look at how Kwasi Nyantakyi and his Black stars were dealt with. Next moment they began respecting us the citizens by hiring a renowned coach and winning matches for us. I like this writer cos he is just on point. I love u ghana. I love zambia

  6. Billy Boyo says:

    Thumbs up for this piece of article. It clearly highlights most of the current negative undertaking, if not all of the aspects of running football presently in Zed. Kalu’s brain was only good at directing him on how and where to kick the ball during his playing days, otherwise it has never directed him to do any thing tangible as a coach or administrator. The soon the mangwam leaves football house the better our football wil become.

  7. Kez Kez says:

    GOD HELP OUR MOTHER ZAMBIA

    I truly think Zambia as a Country needs to ask our Lord the Almighty GOD for some marcy because things seem to be falling apart in almost every thing in our Country.

    FOOTBALL, the People entrusted to run our football the Football Association Zambia has failed us for a long time now. Since Kalusha Bwalya lead association took office there are more disputes in our game than ever before, FIFA has to come in on several occasions for falling to agree with departed Coaches and some wrangles at FAZ, the Association seem not to have a clear vision for our football in this Country .
    The standards of our beloved game of Football has fallen to unacceptable levels despite the Country boasting of two ultra modern stadiums the Levi Mwanawasa and the Heroes Stadiums built by the marcy-full people of China, including taking full costs of the stadiums through what we are told as a soft loans.
    To date our local league has failed to produce any real products that we can boast of playing in good European leagues. While we watch players from Kenya, Zimbabwe, DRC, Gabon etc playing in big European teams.
    It is for these reason why I commend the clubs that voted against the planned desire for Kalu to be life president of FAZ during the just ended conference because no one can challenge him within FAZ. We need to elect credible and proven football administrators like Ponga Liwewe and Nenani Banda. Let’s not think if Kalu was a great in the field of play he can also be a good administrator as we have all seen how he has failed in the office, all his doing is for his personal gain not for the country but people keep on supporting him even after seeing things have fall apart.

    Apart from football every other thing seem not to work out for our Country we are now buying US dollar at k8.05 the highest that the country has ever experienced and no Country can survive without using dollar in all its businesses to grow and improve the leaving standards of it’s people, And our Government seem not to know the solutions to this effect. Unemployment levels have reached a worrying stage, We have the most expensive fuel prices in Southern Africa, Basic needs such as food, house are very expensive in our Country. Even Companies like Muiltchoice (DSTV) just work up and say they have increased there fees without fear. There is no price control in our country

    All these just shows that we have not put credible people in offices even after having elections almost every three year for 6 years. we tend to be supporting people even if we doughty there credibility’s, I don’t know if its there popularity or maybe we just enjoy putting wrong people in offices. Because the poor will even get worse and the richer will have more wealthy, even to an extent of hiding money in the ground when people are dying with hunger every day.

    Selfishness. has destroyed this country It is for this reason I ask our Load to help our Country Zambia

    • Billy says:

      Dear Kez Kez, I hear you bro. This is the mediocrity that KK11 has talked about in his article. It’s not only in football. It’s sad my friend.

    • Buch says:

      I quote a reply to this blog from , BIG STEVE FROM SA
      What you say is true but not all of it. If just attaching a coach to a European club is the answer to improving coaching levels why then did Lucky Msiska who has been attached to a European club his whole coaching career fail so badly when he came back to help coaching in Zambia. That’s not the answer, the problem is deeper than that.
      Yes we have a very terrible tendency to embrace mediocrity that’s why we even have ……… but in the same vein we also have a huge tendency to also embrace all the negative and simply selectively choose to discard any success achieved.
      The same ladies you mention, it is only under Kalu’s administration that for the first time we have seen a ladies team camp in the United States. It is also only under Kalu’s reign that for the first time we have had a woman’s team qualify for the world cup. Under Kalu’s reign have the men’s team had the opportunity to play the best national team in the world. I won’t even mention the Afcon win…lol…ok I have.
      The biggest sponsorship deals we have seen in the history of the Zambian FA have all come in the Kalu era MTN, Super Sport.
      I could go on with more successes that have occurred in the Kalu era but that’s not to say I don’t agree with you. Kalu’s team, Kasengele and company, have failed us a lot as well and have failed us in some very major ways to a point of embarrassment. I will mention two Ghana incidents, the London game and training in a car park, and for me the saddest thing is that they don’t take responsibility for it, they rather choose to ignore it or very quickly shift the blame.
      My point is that in as much as we should not embrace mediocrity we should also in the same light not embrace negativity. Let’s balance out the negative and the positive and see which outweighs the other. In Kalu’s era yes the negative at this point seems to outweigh the positive but that should not be reason to choose to forget the positive.

  8. freddie sichone says:

    A solution to every problem begins when the problem itself is is identified. This article is right on spot. Kalusha has failed and perhaps it is time for him to go. Surely, Zambian soccer has gone to the dogs now. There is completely nothing to write home about.

  9. PATRICK (P.A) says:

    Excellent! This article has really opened up my mind!

  10. Dynamite says:

    Need I say more on this article? Its plain and simple….those with ears will listen to this timely advice!!

  11. Billy says:

    Uhm, this is very true and well said KK11. These are the things we have been discussing from time to time on Zamfoot. We should not be content with mediocrity. Ati “iyoo it shall be well”. It shall be well when you’re not doing anything to improve on your past failures. Well said KK11.

  12. Buch says:

    I quote a reply to this blog from , BIG STEVE FROM SA
    What you say is true but not all of it. If just attaching a coach to a European club is the answer to improving coaching levels why then did Lucky Msiska who has been attached to a European club his whole coaching career fail so badly when he came back to help coaching in Zambia. That’s not the answer, the problem is deeper than that.
    Yes we have a very terrible tendency to embrace mediocrity that’s why we even have Lungu as president…lol… but in the same vein we also have a huge tendency to also embrace all the negative and simply selectively choose to discard any success achieved.
    The same ladies you mention, it is only under Kalu’s administration that for the first time we have seen a ladies team camp in the United States. It is also only under Kalu’s reign that for the first time we have had a woman’s team qualify for the world cup. Under Kalu’s reign have the men’s team had the opportunity to play the best national team in the world. I won’t even mention the Afcon win…lol…ok I have.
    The biggest sponsorship deals we have seen in the history of the Zambian FA have all come in the Kalu era MTN, Super Sport.
    I could go on with more successes that have occurred in the Kalu era but that’s not to say I don’t agree with you. Kalu’s team, Kasengele and company, have failed us a lot as well and have failed us in some very major ways to a point of embarrassment. I will metion two Ghana incidents, the London game and training in a car park, and for me the saddest thing is that they don’t take responsibility for it, they rather choose to ignore it or very quickly shift the blame.
    My point is that in as much as we should not embrace mediocrity we should also in the same light not embrace negativity. Let’s balance out the negative and the positive and see which outweighs the other. In Kalu’s era yes the negative at this point seems to outweigh the positive but that should not be reason to choose to forget the positive.

    • Billy says:

      The problem is that, we all know that the negative has outweighed the positive, why don’t we learn from it and take corrective action? Meanwhile we ignore the mistakes and go on. In the real world we live in, the little positives made will make sense if the negatives are corrected to make improvements which does not happen with FAZ. An example is the poor travel arrangement for our national team. A few years back our Chipolopolo was humiliated in London by Ghana (4-1) due to poor travel. We thought we had learnt from it but this continued happening even up to now. And no one wants to take responsibility for it and the mediocrity continues. It’s what we are talking about.

    • Positive Thinking says:

      Ba Big Steve was awesome in his analysis mwe. This is why I have been saying, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Take the positive and learn.

  13. al idi amin al gaddafi says:

    This guy is sitting on the sideline just PISSING IN!!

    Empty barrels makes the most noise! U don’t have to be in a position to contribute your quota to national development!!

    U as a stakeholder, whats your contribution mister?

  14. zuberi says:

    @ “BUCH”, Luck Msisika did not fail as coach, things went wrong when Kalu seconded Renard to the U23 which Msisika was in charge with, that’s when differences arose and eventually quit.

  15. Pundit says:

    Fantastic! If u can forget wat the article z all abt jst remember Kalu ed His faz hav faild ed Janza equally z a failure let us not settle for less when we have potential let’s hav a positv attitude towards success to the glory of mother zambia!

  16. mambwe says:

    VERY CORRECT. ITS FOOTBALL HERE NOT POLITICS. NO LUNGU NO HH NO EDITH BUT KALU N FAZ

  17. Amos Mumba says:

    The biggest mediocrity is in the lack of depth and quality players coming out of the ranks of these clubs.No wonder,we have started bringing in foreign players to bridge the gap.Like England,this will always hurt our National team.

    I look forward to a day when somebody else will take the mantle of leading our Association and beat the record of the current administration!Its taken me personally over 40 years to witness what i did in 2012.Its not that easy!

  18. STUMPY says:

    am not taking this article seriuosly because the same kk 11 used pipe praises for the same kalu not too long ago. we were called names for been genuine chipolopolo supprters wen we spoke against kalu and the useless renard. the old guards here would tell us we were not there wen zambian football was been made. i stress again that kalu has done nothing for zambian football, except for his own gains.

  19. Bobly S says:

    SKILS AND LEADERSHIP AR 2 DFERENT THINGS.IT WAKEUP CAL 2AL ZAMBIAN TO LOOKING 4WARD 4 SOME1 WU CAN DELIVER THE BEST 4 DA ZAMBIAN SOCCER AND FANS AT LARGE.IT PAINS ME WEN I COMPARE OUR TEAM&FAZ EXECUTIVE FRM TEAMS&MANAGEMENT IN W/AFRICA.I ONLY BLAME BA GREAT K

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