THE LAST STRAW THAT WOULD BREAK THE CAMEL’S BACK
OPINION: If, God forbid, Zambia slumps to book a ticket to the subsequent Africa Cup of the Nations in Cameroon after acquiring the services of an expatriate coach Sven Vandenbroeck – albeit at a no cost of ‘an arm and leg’ and following the African football controlling body’s resolve to expand the biannual tournament from 16 to 24-teams, surely that will be the last straw to break the camel’s back.
Suffice of crestfallen moments thus far, this year, following back to back failures at both U-17 and U-20 level. The same youth isle where glaringly the Andrew Kamanga led Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) have scored major success since taking over the wheels of power at Football house. The youth, who have been ‘our pride and joy’ post 2012 AFCON glory.
As various media houses in the country have reported, following these facepalm moments the head of state is palpably not a happy man. The President did not mince his words when FAZ boss Andrew Kamanga presented him, at State house, with the new KoPa national soccer team Jersey; an endogenous brand.
“Football is everyone’s game but recently we have been subjected to poor results from the under-17 and under-20. In 2012 we were jubilant but the performance has dwindled. We need to start seeing results,” he said. [Quotes as appeared in the Daily Nation]
And as reported by the Zambia Daily Mail, Youth and Sports Minister Moses Mawere is quoted to have said securing a place at the biannual football carnival, next year is a must. Agreed honourable Minister, following the Confederation of African football – whose prerogative it is to run the game in Africa – resolved to expand the coveted tournament in the continent – the Chipolopolo boys must qualify at the snip of a finger.
However, after coming short of qualifying for the previous edition in Gabon, a thing pretty much unheard of in the past decade and having had an outset we would rather it is eschewed – the fear of another heartache looms large.
Therefore, all the saddle is pilled on our new young coach – who such a hot seat is unchartered waters to him. But history has taught me some golden lessons which brings to mind a ‘wet behind the ears’ Herve Renard that went on to become a trailblazer, not only here in Zambia but cross the section of the game in Africa.
While at it, many of us are optimistic that Vandenbroeck can go on and replicate or at least usurp the French, Renard’s success. Whether that hope is misplaced is something that shall be determined by the Belgian’s performance.
For now, Sven (7) Vandenbroeck need our utter support and we need not to pull the rug out when he stands on the touchline for first time in a competitive fixture against Namibia. He need to succeed lest clamour is what follows after. Remember even political squabbles in the Zambian football isle have taken a back seat; but any failure from now on can easly revive the hawks’ sense of purpose.
Follow onTwitter @SibelekiJames.
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