FAZ PRESIDENT BOOED BY FANS AT HEROES STADIUM
Fans yesterday expressed their displeasure at the Chipolopolo’s poor string of results by subjecting the Football Association of Zambia, FAZ President Andrew Kamanga to booing at National Heroes during the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Mauritania.
Five minutes after striker Fashion Sakala completed his hat-trick and Zambia’s fourth goal to seal victory, Chipolopolo fans turned to the VVIP stand to show their frustrations at the Kamanga led FAZ administration.
Booing reigned in from the stands directed to the VVIP section.
This was followed by ‘Kamanga ayende chants’ (Kamanga must go chants).
While the Chipolopolo Boys went about their business on the pitch in a professional manner, the booing and anti-Kamanga chants became the order of the last 20 minutes as fans made their feelings known.
“Look at the attacking talent on the pitch. We can’t be failing to beat small teams with such kind of players,” a fan told the ZamFoot Crew at Heroes Stadium.
“We are tired of watching small teams at the AFCON,” another fan added
The fans growing frustrations sterm from Zambia’s failure to qualify for past three editions of the African Cup of Nations under the Kamanga led FAZ administrations.
Fans want the glory days to return when Zambia was a dominant force on the continent. Christopher Katongo with Emmanuel Mbola of Zambia during the Nelson Mandela Challenge South Africa and Zambia on the 14 November at FNB Stadium ©️Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
In addition to Zambia’s failure to qualify for three successive Africans Cup of Nations, the team dropped unneccassary points in the race for Qatar 2022 World Cup, and that has infuriated many stakeholders including the demanding fans.
Prior to Kamanga taking over as FAZ President in March 2016, Zambia had only failed to qualify for AFCON once since 1990.
This came under the reign of the late Evaristo Kasunga in 2004, who cut short his term and resigned.
Despite Kamanga’s supposedly positive impact in terms of good governance and transparency at Football House, his critics argue that the same can’t be said about the impact on the football pitch.
Fred Mwila (next to FAZ president Andrew Kamanga ) watching the Zambia U23 at Nkoloma
To his allies, Kamanga should not be entirely blamed for Zambia’s misfortune during his tenure.
Many claim that there has been lack of depth in terms of players while others have put the blame on the coaches.
Since he took over, Kamanga is averaging almost a coach per year as he has been chopping and changing.
Local coaches like George Lwandamina, Aggrey Chiyangi, Wedson Nyirenda and Beston Chambeshi (twice) have been at the helm of the Copper Bullets.
Three expatriates have been hired by Kamanga but still success continue to elude the team.
Belgian coach Sven Vanderbroeck and the much travelled Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic had a go at the Chipolopolo job but no avail.
Currently Chambeshi is being assisted by a contingent led by Croatian coach Aljoša Asanović.
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Zambia has made 17 AFCON appearances compared to Egypt and Ghana’s 24 and 22 appearances.
The other countries above Zambia are Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Cameroon and Tunisia who have 19 appearances. Nigeria has been to AFCON 18 times.
In terms of success, Zambia is ranked seventh on the continent boasting of 26 wins and 20 draws from 67 matches.
Zambia has reached three AFCON finals and won it in 2012.