“EMPLOYING of a coach is a prerogative of FAZ. The responsibility of government is to make sure that it’s done in accordance with the law.” This is the response I got from Sports minister Emmanuel Mulenga when I asked him about the way forward following the disastrous start to the Total CAF 2021 AfCON qualifiers by coach Aggrey Chiyangi.
In my question, I wanted to hear from the minister how urgent it was to find a suitable coach now that the local coach that the honourable minister was advocating for has such a start.
There is no much to say about this thing except to remind the minister that ‘venturing into unfamiliar waters just because you have the power to do so, doesn’t always give you desired results.’
Today, we are in this position honourable minister because you took away the same prerogative of FAZ to employ a coach when you rejected their choice [Veselin Jelusic] on account of improper procedure in his recruitment.
I am yet to see what the right procedure in the recruitment of a coach is.
In football conducting interviews of candidates does not really guarantee you success and there are so many examples to that effect.
There were 10 candidates from which Jelusic was picked and I am sure the people that picked him, had their own reasons and the wisest thing ought to have allowed FAZ to go with their choice and then judge them fairly.
But at the moment it is difficult to apportion blame squarely on FAZ because their prerogative was taken away from them by the minister and therefore it is hypocritical for the minister to turn around today and say it is FAZ’s prerogative to hire a coach.
How? If it’s the prerogative of FAZ, why interfere in that same prerogative?
It seems now that FAZ has the prerogative to pick coaches for under-23, under-17, under-20 and women national teams but not the senior national team. Why is this so?
Unfortunately, we have to call things by what they are, this is about Andrew Kamanga, he has to be seen to have failed with the senior national team since it’s the pinnacle of football in this country.
If the guidelines that government wants to be followed will give us a world class coach, they are lying. They know, you can’t get a world class coach with a budget of US $10,000.
An example of this argument lies in the candidates that have applied for the Chipolopolo job following an advert.
It’s even difficult to make a shortlist if one has to look at their respective pedigrees in their careers other than certificates, diplomas, degrees and UEFA qualifications.
What is even shocking is the announcement that a shortlist of 10 candidates will be sent to the ministry! For what?
Is there a technical expert at the ministry now to scrutinise the shortlisted candidates?
What is the rationale of sending the shortlist to the ministry? For the minister or his people to pick their preferred candidate or what? We really need to be educated on this one.
What we know as the standard procedure is that, FAZ with its technical committee interviews candidates, picks the one that meets their demands, employs him/her and unveils him to the public.
I find it really very hard to understand the prerogative due to FAZ the minister is talking about here.
I am one of those that vehemently opposed the Rupiah Banda government’s alleged frustrating stance against Kalusha Bwalya because my firm belief was that such fights usually leave perpetual dangerous precedents in institutions and it did.
But what RB or his sports minister never did, was to send away Herve Renard despite him having been headhunted or having been labelled physical trainer in some quarters.
Frankly speaking Renard had little experience in Ghana but great Kalu saw something in him. He brought him amid so much criticism and that criticism propelled Renard to work even hard with the backing of his boss [Kalu]. Hook us to the 2010 AfCON, we lost on penalties, fine. But something was proved here, FAZ had the prerogative to bring someone they believed was the right choice.
Still government never stopped tormenting Kalusha, and they had a mini-victory when they influenced the hiring of Italian Dario Bonneti. It was clear Kalu didn’t support that hiring, though RB’s government had the courtesy to talk to Kalu in a civilised manner to make things look formal. I remember that BBC interview Kalusha gave from South Africa announcing Dario’s appointment but we knew what was cooking.
Credit to him, Bonneti qualified us to the 2012 AfCON. Unfortunately for him, the change of government in 2011 also meant freedom for Kalusha’s FAZ leading to his sacking and with firm belief in Renard, Kalusha brought him back and boom! We have one major trophy in the cabinet.
The point is, if Kamanga is going to the grave, let him dig his own grave and bury himself!
Treating Kamanga like an opposition leader on the recruitment of a coach has left us in this position because FAZ feels their preferred choice, which the minister rejected could have done a better job than Chiyangi.
Kamanga’s FAZ should be left to pick a coach they feel is the right man for the job, unfortunately at the moment minister, there is no washing of hands here, you are part of this mess. Learn from the past.