Saturday, December 2, 2023

Chipolopolo ‘Granted’ Avram as former Chelsea boss pens two year deal

Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant has officially been confirmed as the new Chipolopolo head coach. 


Grant was unveiled on Thursday morning at a press briefing at Taj Pamodzi Hotel. 

The former Ghana boss has penned a two year deal with an option to extend. 

Grant emerged as the  frontrunner ahead of locals and former National Team coaches Honor Janza and Wedson Nyirenda.

In 2008, in April, he was named Premier League manager of the month and later led Chelsea to the Champions League final but drew 1-1 with Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United before losing 6-5 on penalties after John Terry slipped on the fifth penalty on a rainy day in Moscow and three days later the contract of the Israeli was terminated at the London club on 24th May.

In 2015, he guided the Black Stars of Ghana to the Africa Cup of Nations final but lost on penalties to Ivory Coast.

FAZ President Andrew Kamanga thanked the people who participated in the process of selecting Grant. 

“Today’s occasion signals the new beginning for our game. Mr Grant is a well known figure in World football. He was previously the National team coach for Ghana and Israel. At club level he has coached Maccabi Tel Aviv, Chelsea, Portsmouth, West Ham among others,” he said. 

“I wish to thank all of you who participated in the transparent process of picking the coach.”

Meanwhile Grant said he was happy to come to Zambia. He believes Zambia is a good challenge for him. 

“Am very happy to be here. This is my first time in Zambia. It is a lovely country. I think Zambia has the potential, we have set the targets of what we want to achieve,” he said. 

“I was looking for the right challenge and that’s why I chose Zambia. I came here because of the challenge and I hope when I leave here I will look around and say we did a good job and made a good foundation for the future.”

The Chipolopolo top job attracted an influx of over 100 applicants including former coach Sven Ludwig Vandenbroeck, former Al Ahly and Egypt boss  Hossam Albadry, former Liberia boss Antoine Hey, English man Peter Butler, French man Sebastian Migne and Gert Engels.

A panel of experts comprising FAZ representatives, government, and the Zambia Football Coaches Association (ZAFCA) interviewed and surfed through the candidates to come up with the next coach. 

The Chipolopolo Boys top job fell vacant following the departure of Croatian gaffer Aljosa Asanovic in October. 

Grant has been given the mandate of guiding the 2012 Champions back to the continental showpiece after a three time consecutive absence. 

Grant will come with one assistant coach while the others will be Zambian nationals. 

Moses Sichone who has been  in charge of the team in the interim is expected to retain his position as an assistant coach. 

Zambia will be back in action next year as  the Ivory Coast 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers resume in March, 2023.

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