?> Show some 'balls' it pays off in the end | ZamFoot

Show some ‘balls’ it pays off in the end

When the then Chipolopolo head coach Herve Renard drafted a young midfielder by the name of Nathan Sinkala into his final squad for the 2012 AFCON tournament, Many fans and football stakeholders criticized the Zambia national team trainer for his unpopular decision but in the end his showing of ‘balls’ , guts or whatever you may call it paid off.

Sinkala was a pivotal part of the Zambia national team set-up at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and Zambia went on to win the tournament.

Seven years later, it’s a totally a different situation of misplaced priorities and maybe no priorities at all with the National team under the mentorship of interim coach Agggrey Chiyangi, But what is really the problem? ??


When former Chilolopolo coach Wedson Nyirenda dropped skipper Rainford Kalaba and completely overhauled the National team after a humiliating 1-0 loss at the hands of Mozambique at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, many called him a dreamer but good for him, he showed his balls and went on to build a team that beat Algeria home and away, Yes some will say it was not the best of Algerian teams but what matters is that he did what not many Zambian coaches can do, Beat a North African giant home and away.

One of the young players drafted into the squad by Wedson Nyirenda, Enock Mwepu who made his debut against Algeria is arguably Zambia’s best creative midfielder.

After what can be termed as a good campaign in World Cup qualifiers despite failing to qualify once again, Wedson Nyirenda left his post to join South Africa PSL side Baroka FC amid reports of a falling out between the then Chipolopolo boss and the top brass at Football house.

“I want to make it clear that from inception, I was not wanted. It has been so evident in the way my office and person have been disrespected,” Nyirenda wrote in a letter to FAZ.

“It’s like your executive has made up their mind to fire me. The media statements being attributed to the FAZ makes it clear that I am not wanted.

“The best to do is you (FAZ) terminate my contract and settle me so that I find something else to do.”

The above statement shows just how sour the relationship which started with some much promise had become.


When news of Chicken George Lwandamina joining the National team as technical advisor took the waves, The general feeling was that he won’t be anywhere near the technical bench but offer expatriate advice based on the information given to him by video analysts and technical staff but wait? This is a man who doesn’t believe in analyzing opponents or watching their games so how was this supposed to work again?

FAZ got the call wrong by assigning another coach to the team as we now have three philosophies from the countries top clubs trying to create a master philosophy for the National team and catastrophic results are what they got in the end.

To FAZ my plea is that please get a permanent coach and let him work freely on his own terms without interference because at the end of the day it will be the coach’s head that will be on the line whenever the Chipolopolo boys don’t do well.

Chiyangi had his chance to show the fans what he is capable of but again he just proved the sections of soccer fans who believe a local coach is not ready to take charge of the ‘mighty’ Zambia national team.


When Nkana hitman Ronald Sate-Sate Kampamba was at his peak, Herve Renard refused to bend to the fans’ will to include him in his squad as he believed he (Kampamba) was not good enough and seven years later almost everyone is now in agreement with the French man.

Chiyangi left out Larry Bwalya and Bruce Musakanya in one of his squads but included them 24 hours later after social media uproar from the fans. A coach should not bend to the will of the fans, His only responsibility is to deliver results. When he made the initial list he left them out meaning he believed he did not need them but what changed in 24 hours to summon them?.

A coach should have thick sick and make unpopular decisions for the greater good, making sure the team delivers on match day is the only thing he owes the fans not calling players they like or prefer.

The new coach should have a long term contract with clearly set out targets which by the way should be realistic, If we qualify to the 2021 AFCON it should a bonus because the process has already been messed up by ourselves with those two losses hence it will be unfair to ask the new coach whoever he will be to perform a miracle.


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8 Comments to Show some ‘balls’ it pays off in the end

  1. Positive Thinking says:

    I like this article, but I will also say that something needs to be said about the way fans and Government treated the hiring of the Serbian dude. FAZ hired a coach only for people to turn on them, and now we are losing 5-0 and people are like, “why?”

  2. Anonymous says:

    What’s wrong kanshi with our team we very much disappointed

  3. Sydney Mumba says:

    Government money has to be accounted, one can’t hire a coach back door and expect the government to bow down to that. I think the FAZ president has a pompous elements of dictatorially behavior that he deems anything as interference, whistle blowers are banned and so forth and yet when things turn sour its either he blames the government or the minister

  4. Sibs says:

    Great article. One area we seem to be missing is Leadership on the pitch. Is Kabaso Choogo the best man to Captain the National team? People like C.Katongo, K.Bwalya who captained the team in the past commanded respect from their fellow players and had a presence on the pitch and dressing room.
    Does Kabaso have all these qualities of a leader? I have no doubt about his playing abilities but i doubt his leadership. Is he able to motivate and push the boys when the chips are down on the pitch? Same with the Coaches we have, when things are tough the fail to provide leadership and make changes.. One thing i like about Top Coaches like Mourinho is that the make substitutes even if the game is just 25 minutes played. The guts to make a decision whether its right or wrong. ACTION!! I remember Lwandamina when he was Senior Coach. Even when the team was loosing 3-0 he never stood up to shout at the boys from the touch line, He would be calm and glued to his seat like the team was leading. Chiyangi also looks like the job was too big for him. Punching above his weight like Pisto Mosimane (Sundowns Coach).would say. COSAFA victory went to his head.

    I still feel Kalaba can add value to this team. His experience can be of value to the young players like PD, E.Mwepu, Fashion….
    He does not need to play 90 minutes. Currently we have no one to play balls form the wing for our strikers to finish. Rainford is the man for this he can still take on defenders and cause havoc. We saw last qualifies of Afcon the damage he made when he was given an opportunity to play. For me he is better than a younger Shonga who sometimes just runs up and down for 90 minutes. When N.Sinkala and Rainford were dropped from the team 2 or 3 years ago i moaned. If you understand “bola” you can see how valuable Nathan is to this team. He is a fixture in the Mazembe team which has been performing in Africa the last 5 years or so..
    FAZ the less i say the better. You have FAILED US!

    • Lukanga Kafusha Justice says:

      Good points but I am not sure Kamanga neither cares nor understands anything about football. We had all the time in the World to appoint a qualified coach but nothing happened. Someone was appointed but it seems procedures were not followed.
      It is the administration that has failed us. To be honest there is no Zambian coach of the current ones who is qualified to coach our National team and take us forward. The sooner we appoint a qualified coach the better for us. There are the World Cup games coming up and I think that is where we should shift our focus with a new qualified coach

      When you draw friendly games with teams like Niger and Benin, and then just know that you have reached the bottom. We have a big issue in Zambian football (Ba FAZ) until this is sorted out we will continue being defeated by teams that we can easily beat. I have really lost hope

      The other issue is with some of our players who are content with a place on the bench or being substituted in every game, more especially in the South African league. If a Zambian player cannot command a starting place in the South African PSL then he should not be anywhere near our National team

      My other concern Sibs is the use of foreigners in our league. South Africa has a quote as to how many foreign players a club must engange as well as how many can play in a game at the same time. In Zambia it does not matter. It is for this reason one club from Ndola had 11 foreign players in the starting lineup with no Zambian. This is a big problem. Again it is Kamanga and his friends at FAZ who supposed to impose the rules. They do not need seek permission from CAF, or FIFA. How will our young players develop if they are not getting an opportunity to feature in the ZPL? This is very retrogressive

      I rest my case

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  6. Joko says:

    Exactly my take. You’ve said it all bro.

  7. Laurent Nisford Musonda says:

    I am sure the bone of contention here is Kalaba, Mweene and others like Chisamba Lungu should not be retired, let them retire leaving capable or seasoned replacements not the way it is. Kalaba takes on defenders and makes them panic. Opponent defenders today are able to drink a cup of coffee with ease as attackers come. Give us a break we have had it.

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