THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) says it has not received any official notification from Zesco or Nkana football clubs withdrawing coach George Lwandamina and assistant Aggrey Chiyangi from the Chipolopolo technical bench ahead of this month’s COSAFA Senior Challenge tournament.
FAZ general secretary Ponga Liwewe said in an interview yesterday that the association learnt of the withdrawal of Chiyangi and Lwandamina from the technical bench through the media as no official notification was sent.
“I cannot delve much in the matter as I learnt of it through the newspapers this morning that the clubs have withdrawn the two coaches from the national team technical bench. We have not received an official notification from any club, hence the coaches were part of the national team technical bench,” he said.
He, however, said he would engage with the clubs over the matter.
“It will be too early to issue a statement concerning the matter. But I will hopefully this afternoon (yesterday) engage the clubs in a meeting,” he said.
Nkana Football Club chairperson Evaristo Kabila revealed that FAZ had not written to the club requesting the services of Chiyangi for the forthcoming COSAFA tournament and urged Football House to urgently employ a permanent technical bench to avoid disturbing the club’s programmes.
Zesco was also reported to have called back Lwandamina to prepare the team for the CAF Champions League first leg match against Al Ahly of Egypt next week.
Zambia Soccer Fans Association (ZSFA) patron Peter Makembo said this was a signal that FAZ must immediately employ a permanent coach for the national team.
Makembo said Zambia had a pool of good coaches that FAZ could pick from unlike having a tug of war with clubs over coaches.
“It is saddening that the head coach is not going to be with the squad throughout the preparations for an important tournament like COSAFA. The CAF Champions League is equally important and Lwandamina is definitely needed at Zesco; so it is time FAZ looked into the matter of employing a permanent coach,” he said.
He said Zambia would soon begin her campaign for the World Cup qualifiers and needed to have a coach throughout the race.
“We can’t continue with the trend of borrowing coaches from clubs. The COSAFA tournament is a dress rehearsal for the World Cup qualifiers, and full services of the coach are required. The boys need concentration,” he said.
The national team is currently in camp ahead of the June 19 COSAFA quarterfinal match against the Group A winners which has Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Madagascar and Swaziland.