Football

STRENGTHEN SQUAD – as FAZ gives Asanovic leeway to scout for new talent

By MICHAEL MIYOBA

FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Andrew Kamanga says national team coach Aljosa Asanovic has been given the leeway to identify players who he believes will reinforce the squad and make it more competitive.

Kamanga said Asanovics’ search for reinforcement will not be restricted to the local environment but also players of Zambian heritage plying their trade in other competitive leagues.

Kamanga said Asanovic who has been given a four-year performance-based contract does not need to dismantle the whole team but just re-enforcing where the team has gaps.

Kamanga said the March FIFA window will give the association a head start by affording the Chipolopolo at least two high profile international friendly matches.

On the national women’s team entering camp ahead of the February 16 first leg match against Namibia in the Morocco 2022 Africa Women’s Champions (AWCON), Kamanga confirmed that FAZ has secured an international friendly with South Africa prior to facing the brave Gladiators of Namibia.

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“Despite the challenges characteristic of the Covid-19 and running leagues in some countries, we are happy that South Africa has heeded our call to help us prepare for this assignment,” Kamanga said.

Kamanga said the association is not leaving any stone unturned to give the team a good chance to qualify for the Africa Cup for the tournament that will run from July 2 to 23, 2022 and doubles as the African qualifiers to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, Kamanga said some of things that have been happening in the MTN/FAZ Super League are unacceptable. 

“Some ugly scenes bordering on criminality have been witnessed at some stadia including damage to property that warrant not just football sanctions but criminal prosecution. 

“Given the stature of our league that enjoys a huge following across the globe, we cannot afford certain slipups.  Sadly, we have also had routine match day activities like kit clash stealing the headlines. This should not take the association’s intervention to arrest as our regulations provide enough safeguards to avoid such avoidable incidences,” Kamanga said.

Kamanga’s comments comes after Konkola Blades fans stoned and damaged Zanaco FC’s team bus after a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

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