FOOTBALL enthusiasts in Zambia are outraged by the FAZ/MTN league awards committee’s decision to snub triple winning coach George Lwandamina on the coach-of-the-year award shortlist for a second year running.
The awards gala for deserving players and coaches from the just-ended transitional league will be held on July 31 at Pamodzi Hotel.
FAZ had initially kept the nominees a secret but fans expressed shock and anger when the shortlist was released late Thursday showing that Lwandamina, who successfully defended the league he won with his team Zesco last season, is not appearing while Chisi Mbewe, coach for mid-table finishers Red Arrows is on the list.
There is also no mention of any player or Kabwe Warriors Tenant Chilumba despite the team having lost only one game the whole season.
Last season, Zesco won the league, Nkana was second but the award went to third-place finishers Green Eagles coach Aggrey Chiyangi who is favourite to win it again despite coming second to Lwandamina according to the nominees list released by FAZ.
“I stand with coach ‘Chicken’, he stands firm and does his job perfectly well. This snub will not affect him but the ones who have snubbed him are the ones that have no shame. Congrats to coach ‘Chicken’ George for great performance,” commented former Power Dynamos and Buildcon chief executive officer Ricky Mamfunda.
“I am surprised, there is something wrong at Football House in Lusaka,” Mwansa Lengwe commented.
Several other soccer followers took to various social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to express their disappointment with Lwandamina’s exclusion.
Chiyangi, Mbewe and Buildcon coach Srdan Zvojinov will contest the coach of the year award.
Lazarous Kambole, Austin Muwowo, and Bruce Musakanya are vying for the Player- of-The-Year award while the most disciplined player’s award will be contested by Bronson Chama, Bruce Musakanya, and Kambole.
The young-player-o- the-year award will be contested by Biston Banda, Lameck Banda, and Klings Kangwa.
Laudit Mavungo, Muwowo, and Adams Zikiru will share the top scorers award.
The best referee’s award will be contested by Mathews Hamaila, Audrick Nkole, and Shem Nyondo while the assistant referee of the year is being contested by Diana Chikotesha, Romeo Kasengele, and Kabwe Chansa.