12 February 2013

Zambia: Coaches Body Calls for Afcon Review

THE Zambia Football Coaches Association (ZAFCA) has called for an urgent critical review of the Chipolopolo's performance at the just-ended Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.

ZAFCA president Patrick Kangwa said there was need to brainstorm over Zambia's poor showing at the 2013 AFCON where last year's continental winners failed to get past the group stage.

He said the review needed to be done before Zambia embarks on another journey - the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifiers next month.

Kangwa said in an interview in Ndola yesterday Zambians needed to know what really went wrong for the Chipolopolo to fail to click in South Africa.

"We need to review the team's performance. When you lose, a lot of things need to be done. We want to know what went wrong and that should be done almost immediately," he said.

Kangwa said after the review, a technical report should be produced before the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) could act on the recommendations and chart the way forward for the team.

Zambia, who stunned the footballing world last year to lift a maiden AFCON trophy in Gabon, failed to reproduce that fantastic display in South Africa, bowing out after drawing all three Group C matches.

The Chipolopolo were held to a shocking 1-1 draw by minnows, Ethiopia in the opener before squeezing another 1-1 draw with eventual winners, Nigeria.

In the final Group C match, Zambia again drew 0-0 with 2013 AFCON runners-up, Burkina Faso.

And the ZAFCA chief said Zambia's bid for the hosting of the AFCON was long overdue and he was confident the infrastructure puzzle would be resolved way before the 2019 edition.

Kangwa said Zambia won the 2012 AFCON away and that it was only proper for the nation to stage Africa's prestigious football showpiece.

Last week, Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili made a preliminary announcement of Zambia's intentions to bid for the 2019 AFCON finals.

Kambwili said the ministry had in principle agreed to push for a Zambian bid for the AFCON tournament.

He said he would soon table the matter before Cabinet for consideration and possible approval. Zambia was last awarded the rights to stage the AFCON in 1988 but lack of infrastructure saw the nation fail to organise the event.

In 2014, Zambia's joint bid with Malawi also failed as Tunisia was picked as the hosts.

Zambia now boasts of the elegant Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola and another gigantic masterpiece which is nearing completion in Lusaka. Plans are also underway to build a modern stadium in Livingstone and another in Mongu.

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