By MICHAEL MIYOBA
THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) says it expects to unveil the next Chipolopolo coach this week after a lot of background work in identifying the new steward of the national team.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said the association had planned to conclude on the programme to engage a new coach at the close of 2021 but delayed because the process involves many stakeholders that must be kept abreast at every turn.
Kamanga said FAZ has kept Government informed at every stage of the process to appoint a new coach and has no doubt that their choice and national team will receive full support.
Kamanga said FAZ settled for a coach who is believed to know his way around the Zambian game and can relate with the country’s current crop of players.
“We are confident that with the coach in place, we will have a smooth start to the qualifiers for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. The draws will be conducted in Douala, Cameroon this Friday.
“With everything starting on a clean slate, it is our desire to give the team a good start,” Kamanga said.
He noted that the association will utilise the March FIFA window to organise two quality friendly matches as part of preparations for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
“We have never shied away to give the team international friendly matches as part of preparations for crucial matches.
“Additionally, we will in liaison with the incoming coach pursue aggressively the inclusion of Zambian players scattered around the world who are eligible to play for the Chipolopolo through the application of dual citizenship law,” Kamanga said.
He said the inclusion of eligible to play for the Chipolopolo through the application of dual citizenship law will be done to strengthen and balance the team particularly in positions were the team is struggling.
He said FAZ has already been in touch with some players and was hoping to finalise on the challenges encountered during the process to engage players of dual citizenship.
Meanwhile, Kamanga has reaffirmed FAZ’s commitment to give the National Womens team some good preparations ahead of the final round of the Morocco 2022 Africa Women Championship (AWCON) against Namibia. The Tokyo 2020 participants only have two legs standing in their way to qualification to the AWCON after establishing themselves as a credible force on the continent.