[By Bright Tembo]
ZAMBIA went to sleep in 2012 when it won its maiden Africa Cup of Nations, says FIFA technical advisor Serami Letsoaka.
He says Zambia has been in the comfort zone since 2012 and forgot about football development through coaches.
Speaking during the opening of a five-day course for developmental coaches on the Copperbelt, Letsoaka said Zambia has only been thinking about the 2012 AfCON.
“Having won the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations you (Zambia) went to sleep. In 2013 nothing happened, in 2015, in 2017 again nothing happened in Zambia, in 2019 in Egypt nothing happened for Zambia. It means for a long time you have been sleeping. For long time you have been thinking about winning the 2012 AfCON without thinking of developing football. How can we have schools when you don’t have teachers (coaches)? The decision that FAZ has taken to develop football through the technical aspects is good,” he said.
“You can’t develop football by watching it on TV. Football needs people on the ground to develop football and Zambia has a generation of players in the Under-17, Under-20 and you need to continue maturing them. And your presence here says it all. You need to nurture them.”
Letsoaka said Zambia still had great potential.
“… you can be one of the big countries in Africa but it’s a challenge because a lot of people don’t take coaching seriously and if you are a country without teachers, a country without experts, you cannot do anything in football,” said Letsoaka.
And speaking at the same event, FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said the association is setting up a coaches training school.
“We are going to bring an expert that is going to … through the coaches from the National League and Super League in an eight weeks training, while some of you will be sent abroad for trainings. In the long term, this year for the first time, FAZ will set up a FAZ coaches training school which will be done in conjunction with the University of Zambia. So from now on we need to have curriculum where we are going to train coaches over a three-year to four-year programme,” said Kamanga.