Expert View: Why we never left a football development master plan
Following my earlier post this morning, I have had candid engagements, on the sidelines, with colleagues who are also passionate about Zambian Football.
Their question is why we didn’t do what I am proposing as an antidote to the current malaise when we were in office for two terms. Is it the case of easier said than done or simply hindsight at work?
Well, when we got elected during the first term in 2008, we set out to do a football development master plan by revising the FIFA Needs Assessment report with the support from the FIFA Regional Office in Botswana and drafting a Four Year Homegrown Strategic plan.
However, before we could even get settled, we were beset by those football wrangles which basically overshadowed everything and took Centre stage. We had to shelve many plans and focused on managing the game on a month by month basis.
Things only cooled when one president lost elections in September 2011 and we could breathe again.
Immediately after change in regime, we brought back Herve Renard and started plotting for 2012 AFCON tournament.
After the first round ejection at AFCON 2013, and the need to manage the team post AFCON 2012 in a systematic manner, we put in place interventions in form of immediate, short term and medium term football development plans.
That included both the structures, systems and personnel (with a very a robust successional planning).
The focus was on 2022 World Cup and our intention was to do the Master Plan after the 2016 FAZ elections.
However, the councilors were of the view that we were not good enough to continue and voted us out. The new executive in their wisdom decided to do away with whatever structures we left behind and started doing things in their own way, probably according to their manifesto.
However, those immediate and short term plans we rolled out in 2013 did have a positive impact on our football landscape as we recorded the following successes:
Won the COSAFA Senior Cup – 2013
Qualified the U17 Women to Costa Rica World Cup – 2014 (first time for Zambia)
Qualified the Senior Women National Team to AFCON – 2014 (first time for Zambia)
Qualified the U17 Boys to AFCON – 2015 (first time for Zambia)
Qualified the U20 Boys to AFCON – 2015
Qualified the U23 Team to AFCON – 2015 (first time for Zambia)
Qualified the Senior Team to AFCON – 2015 (fourth time in 8 years)
Submitted and won the bid to host the AFCON U20 (first time for Zambia)
NB. The core of the team that won the U20 AFCON in Zambia 2017 was the same that participated in U17 AFCON in Niger in 2015.
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