…and says he will not quit the Chipolopolo
By Sports Reporter
ZAMBIA national soccer team midfielder Chisamba Lungu says he has not quit the national team and has pledged to remain with the Chipolopolo because the team is bigger than him.
This is in an apparent U-turn on his earlier decision to quit the national team after Zambia was booted out of the Africa Cup of Nations following a 3-2 loss against Giunea Bissau on June 4, at the Estadio 24 de Setembro in Bissau where he was an unused substitute.
Writing on his Facebook post yesterday, the FC Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast ball wizard said he had not retired from the national team, without elaborating on earlier media reports suggesting that he had decided to stop playing for the national team due to what he called biased player selection by the technical bench.
“Take it from me, I have not retired. Zambia is bigger than me. Always at heart of Chipolopolo,” Lungu said.
After Zambia’s loss to Giunea Bissau last month, Lungu blasted the technical bench for the loss and indicated that he would never play for the national team because he could not be called to national duty only to watch young players take his position.
He said at the time that it was a waste of taxpayers’ money to call him for the 2017 AfCON qualifier against Guinea Bissau only for him to warm the bench.
He said his decision to turn down future national team call-ups was painful, but that he wanted to put an end to what had been happening to him in the past where he was called and not used in preference for less experienced players.
He said it was disappointing that apart from being subjected to the bench, coach George Lwandamina did not bother to explain to him why he was not used.
“I am not saying I am the best but calling me to warm the bench while small boys who are not experienced play is very disrespectful. He should have explained to me so that we walk on the same page because the action really affected me.
I am very much disappointed on what happened in Guinea Bissau. Next time I will not come. Seriously I have decided not to come anymore.
“It was a waste of taxpayers’ money…like I said before; if I am not in the plan of the coach please let me know. I respect his plan; it’s not that I have anything against him. If he has anything against me, as a father and coach he has to speak it out; call me and say ‘Chisamba, what you are not doing is this and that’.
‘‘That’s what (Herve) Renard used to do; each time you did something wrong, he would tell you. But the coach that we have now is just quiet, which is so disrespectful on my part,” Lungu said.
He further explained that the loss to Guinea Bissau and subsequent failure to qualify to the 2017 Africa Cup was as a result of poor player selection by the coaches.
He said most of the players used in the crucial match were raw and that cost Zambia qualification to the continental showpiece.
“Personally I think the coach’s selection was bad, the players they got did not have experience. Like Christopher Katongo said before, there are players for CHAN, players for COSAFA and players for AfCON and World Cup.
“They have to check the players they are selecting. At the end of the day we will be saying this and that players are not good or are finished yet it’s the level of experience that determines what kind of games they feature in. People complained that the players in that game were not good but no, it is the level of players that cost us,” he said
Lungu had raised the same concern when he was a late substitute in the first game against Guinea Bissau in Ndola last year, which ended 0-0.