CHINA – BASED Zambian striker James Chamanga says he is not contemplating international retirement following the decision by Chipolopolo coach Honour Janza to drop him from the final squad for the prestigious AfCON 2015 tournament in Equatorial Guinea this month.
Chamanga is among the four players Janza left out from the final 23-member squad.
Others dropped by Janza are Toaster Nsabata (Nchanga Rangers), Bronson Chama (Red Arrows) and Aaron Katebe (FC Platinum in Zimbabwe).
According to mtnfootball.com, the 34-year-old veteran of five Africa Cups was axed by Janza from the final team that travels to Equatorial Guinea next week.
“There are people who are trying to force me into retirement which I am not going to do,” Chamanga said.
“I will continue being positive about my career and focus on the club and my country. I am still strong and I feel very strong.”
Chamanga, who plays for Chinese club Liaoning Whowin, was the best African striker in the 2014 China Super League season after scoring 11 goals.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) spokesperson Nkweto Tembwe said the coach always picks players on merit based on performance.
“The fact that one player is used in one game will not guarantee that he will be used forever, no. Each player is picked on his performance at the time the coach is making a team,” he said. Tembwe said in an interview from Johannesburg that there were no permanent places in the national team and that any player could be selected into Chipolopolo depending on his performance. He said it was important for all players to work hard in training so that their chances of being picked were boosted.
“So, people that, according to him (Janza), have not yet reached that level he is looking for he would tell them (players) that this time they would not be with him,” he said.
And Zambia Under-17 national team yesterday drew with South Africa one-all in a friendly match played at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
South Africa took the lead in the first half but a few minutes later, the junior Chipolopolo equalised through their captain Patson Daka.
The two teams used the match to prepare for the Under-17 tournament in Niger which kicks off next month. – MTNFootball/Sports Reporter