VETERAN football administrator and soccer commentator Marsha Chilemena says the success of the newly-elected Football Association of Zambia executive will depend on how president Andrew Kamanga balances his action with those who have been in the administration before.
Chilemena said Zambian football was headed for success with Kamanga at the helm of its administration because he was a ‘‘versatile, strong-willed and determined individual’’ both in football and at personal level.
He, however, said his success at Football House would depend on how well Kamanga interacts with those in the former executive who served in different portfolios within the association.
Chilemena said there was need for harmony in the football family if Zambia was to benefit from the change of guard at Football House.
He said he had known Kamanga for a long time and was convinced that the new FAZ chief executive officer had what it took to turn Zambian football around.
“But he will not manage to achieve all that alone if he does not have a good working relationship with others in the executive,” Chilemena said.
He said Zambian football was in dire need of individuals with the capacity to bring about tangible change that would not only enhance performance among teams in the FAZ/MTN league but also transform the national team.
He advised the FAZ executive to take a keen interest in former football administrators whom he said had huge experience and understanding of the game and could add value to improving standards.
“Kamanga is a versatile, strong-willed, insightful and hardworking individual who has had his own share of success in football circles as well as personal business.
“There is no doubt he will contribute immensely to football as FAZ president but this success will only be realised depending on how well he will coordinate with other executive members who have served in the association before,” he said
Chilemena said there should be serious consultation and dialogue with former executive members if Kamanga was to achieve his dreams.
“He needs to talk to them, make them understand his vision, and share his aspirations with them.
Most importantly, he needs to consult other veteran sports administrators on how they have succeeded in football administration,” he said. And Chilemena said talent identification, nurturing and development had remained a challenge in Zambia as coaches were not empowered to engage in talent search due to lack of funding from sponsors.
“We have plenty of talent that remains untapped especially in rural areas and the reason is most sponsors think their duty is just to buy boots and jerseys for the teams but that is not supposed to be the case.
‘‘ZESCO United, Zanaco, Nkana and Power Dynamos have all been successful teams because their sponsors and club executives believe talent identification is key to improving their clubs.
“Right now, I can tell you that we do not have a number nine that I can compare to the players we have had in the past. Number nines are not made but born and it is up to coaches to identify these players.
“We have never seen coaches going to places such as Namushakende, Shangombo and many other far-flung areas to look for this talent and this is why I am saying we should for now concentrate on qualifying to the AfCON and not the World Cup because we don’t have the material,” he said.