GOVERNMENT is ready to pay Chipolopolo interim coach George ‘Chicken’ Lwandamina ‘’very well’’ if given a contract, says Sports minister Vincent Mwale.
Mwale told the Daily Nation yesterday that it has been proved that Lwandamina was doing a good job and deserves the contract.
He however said that it was not the job of Government to give Lwandamina a contract but that of Football Association of Zambia (FAZ).
“If we have to give Lwandamina the contract, Government is ready and in addition we will pay him very well. But FAZ should be the one to initiate that.
‘’We don’t want the Dario Bonneti situation where FAZ said he was imposed on them by Government and later terminate the contract. We don’t want to repeat old mistakes, hence we leave it up to FAZ. We will wait upon FAZ to do their job. But we are ready to pay,” he said.
Mwale was reacting to a call by veteran sports administrator Simataa Simataa who implored FAZ to give Lwandamina a contract as Zambia national team coach because he had nothing else to prove after his recent performances with the Chipolopolo Boys.
Simataa wondered why FAZ was giving so much respect to ‘’bogus’’ expatriate coaches whose salaries and allowances were far beyond the country’s capacity to pay while overlooking capable Zambian coaches.
Mwale agreed and said it was time that a Zambian doing a good job was given the opportunity unlike depending on expatriate coaches.
“As it is now we are failing to find money to pay an expatriate coach. With the economic problem we are experiencing, it’s good to encourage Zambians to go for local products and services.
‘’This also applies in soccer; it has been proven that Lwandamina is delivering,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chipolopolo Soccer Fans Association (CSFA) chairperson Yotam Mwanza said the team had shown the spirit of togetherness and hard work in the last few matches.
Mwanza said the Chipolopolo’s desire to qualify for the 2018 World Cup was exhibited in the game against Sudan.
“You could see the boys fight hard to get a win. They knew what was at stake and fought to the end. What is encouraging is that the boys are getting goals,” he said.
Zambia on Sunday beat Sudan 2-0 in the return leg at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola to reach the group stage qualifiers for the Russia 2018 World Cup with a 3-0 aggregate score.