CHIPOLOPOLO coach Herve Renard has said voting for the best player in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) player-of-the-year award (based in Africa) has been a big nightmare for him.
Two of the Chipolopolo winning team in defender Stopilla Sunzu and midfielder Rainford Kalaba together with Egyptian Mohammed Aboutrika are in the running for the CAF award with Renard required to vote for one player.
"It has been tough for me. It's been a nightmare to chose who I think is the best. But I can't tell you who I voted for because if I say I voted for Kalaba, Stopilla will be unhappy with me and if I tell you I voted for Stopilla, Kalaba will not be happy ," Renard said jokingly.
Renard is expected to leave for Accra, Ghana for the GLO CAF awards ceremony together with Sunzu and Kalaba, with the Frenchman a clear favourite to win the CAF coach of the year award.
He said it has been an awkwardly difficult choice for him to make because the two players who also hail from the same Afrisports Football Club in Kitwe and playing for TP Mazembe are quite close to him and work very hard in training and for the team.
Renard was, however, happy that two Zambian players were competing for such high honours in Africa and was hopeful all the awards will come to Zambia.
And the national soccer team has continued with its preparations ahead of the international friendly match against Tanzania set for this weekend.
The team that regrouped on Friday and started its training session in Lusaka is expected to leave for Dar-es-Salaam by Thursday. Renard, Kalaba and Sunzu will fly direct to Tanzania after Thursday's awards ceremony in Accra.
Renard said training was progressing well as the team still had about six weeks before the AFCON title defence starts in South Africa and that the preparatory matches lined up would greatly help the team.
Meanwhile, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has expressed shock at the death of former Zimbabwe player Adam Ndlovu who died in a road traffic accident which left his brother Peter in a critical situation in hospital.
In a statement released yesterday, FAZ spokesperson Erick Mwanza said "We were shocked yesterday (Sunday) as news of the horror car crash, in which former Zimbabwe international footballer Adam Ndlovu was killed while his younger brother Peter miraculously escaped with his life but remains in critical condition in hospital.
The Ndlovu brothers were travelling to Victoria Falls for a social match, in which they had been scheduled to play for the Highlanders' legends against a local side, when Peter's BMW X5 burst a front tyre, veered off the road and smashed into three roadside trees before landing in a ditch.