[By Bright Tembo]
THE disappointment of losing the first two opening fixtures in the AfCON qualifiers to Algeria and Zimbabwe, seem to have generated spite on FAZ president Andrew Kamanga.
The two loses have put Zambia on blink to hit a treble of not qualifying for Africa’s most prestigious tournament under the leadership of Kamanga.
However, soccer analyst Musonda Chibulu feels calls to oust Kamanga out of office are unjustifiable and Kamanga needs to be brave.
“Well, he has to be brave. Leadership is something that warrants a lot of criticism and you will find that when you do very well nobody will appreciate you and Kamanga knows the people who are causing him trouble,” he said. “And the FAZ presidency is a poisoned chalice and Kamanga needs to develop a thick skin but at the end of the day his fate lies in the hands of the councillors and in my view he has done very well in terms of putting up structures in place but the environment is very difficult to operate in.”
Chibulu notes that since Kamanga assumed office he has been under massive attack.
“Even before he became FAZ president, he was attacked heavily but I sympathise with him because he has come in at somewhat a very difficult time. Qualifying to the 2015 AfCON was difficult – in 2013 it was more difficult as African Champions but under him we won the U20 AfCON, some will argue that it’s because of the previous administration,” he said. “Now the question is the players that are failing to perform today were they brought by Kamanga? What are the real reasons that people want Kamanga out? The women’s national team is on the verge to qualify for the Olympics. It basically means that our national women’s team is among the best two in Africa, so Kamanga has lifted them to among the best two in Africa alongside Cameron.”
Chibulu queried those asking Kamanga to resign to give reasons unlike speculating.
“Unless there are other reasons which we don’t know then it will be justified why Kamanga should go other than the aspect of saying he has failed. What is it that he has failed? What is it that he has not done? If it was somebody else who was in that office today what is it that they could have done that this man has not done?” he asked.
Chibulu also urged football stakeholders to put personal interests aside for the love of football.
“A house that is divided against itself cannot stand. We need to put personal interests aside and put Zambia first otherwise we will continue failing to go to the Africa Cup of Nations because it’s like there is a personal vendetta to remove one person which is now affecting the national team,” said Chibulu. “And at national team level we have to be critical in terms of the decisions we make and the approach needs to be changed because whoever is going to come is going to be in problems.”