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Friendly not possible

…No window for Chipolopolo to engage in friendlies says Kamanga

THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) says it is impossible for the Zambia national team to engage in an international friendly match to prepare for this month’s back to back Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Lesotho.

Zambia will host Lesotho on March 23 at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola before traveling for the reverse fixture which will be played in South Africa on March 26.

FAZ President Andrew Kamanga said the Chipolopolo would have had an international friendly match before facing Lesotho but there is no window which would make it impossible to have the players before the requisite FIFA sanctioned period.

Kamanga however noted that the country stand to benefit from the quality of foreign based players when the international window opens.

He said the technical bench led by Avram Grant has been doing a lot of work in the background that gives the association confidence that the Chipolopolo will turn out good during the crucial assignments. Kamanga hinted that the Chipolopolo will enter camp after the ABSA Cup quarter finals clashes scheduled for next weekend.

“The ABSA Cup draws were conducted last week cementing a 16-year relationship. We have exciting fixtures lined bigger prizes announced by the sponsor. We cannot thank ABSA Bank enough alongside other partners like SuperSport for their continued support to the game. The ABSA Cup will culminate into the Chipolopolo camp ahead of our back-to-back engagements against Lesotho,” Kamanga Said.

Meanwhile, Kamanga has urged FAZ Provincial Leaders to understand their roles to fully benefit from decentralization. “Under the current FAZ structure, power has been taken right to the provinces and without a proper understanding of their role, it will be very difficult for the provincial leadership to fully benefit from decentralization,” Kamanga said. “You cannot be crying about selection of national team players when you have an opportunity to participate through your representatives. At least all the 10 provinces have FIFA trained youth friendly coaches that are tasked with the responsibility of helping identify and recommend talent to our various national teams.  We expect that this opportunity will be better utilized going forward,” he said.

Kamanga said it is understandable that football leadership in some circles is still understood to only reside in Lusaka when football administration has been taken right in the provinces following the decentralization of the game.

“We cannot talk about football development without taking on board the provincial bodies,” Kamanga said.


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