FAZ presidential aspirant Blackwell Siwale says the Andrew Kamanga led executive has not transitioned well between the old players and the new ones, hence the poor performance of the national team.

The Chipolopolo boys are on the verge of missing their third consecutive biggest continental championship, AfCON, after losing a return match to Botswana in Francistown.

Zambia last featured at the Africa Cup of Nations (AfCON) in 2015 when they were booted out in the preliminary stage of the prestigious tournament before they later failed to make it to the 2017 and 2019 editions.

If they are to qualify for the next edition which has been pushed to January 2022 due to COVID-19, Zambia needs to beat Algeria and Zimbabwe in the two remaining qualifier matches.

Siwale has, however, blamed his opponent Kamanga’s administration for the poor performance of the national team.

“Football standards in the last four years have gone down because we have not focused on football development, but fixing perceived enemies. As a consequence of losing focus on developing football and managing the national teams, the transition between the old players and new players being fused in the national team has been poorly handled by the Kamanga administration,” he claimed. “It takes two to four years for a team to blend and start playing together and know each other well, and how to position in the team. Take the defence, for instance, how long have they played together? They were assembled less than a month ago and you expect them to perform for Zambia? The answer is no. We should have been fusing these new players slowly so that at the end of the day they learn each other and graduate.”

He claimed that Kamanga was hanging on to power illegally.

“The clinging on to power by Kamanga illegitimately with just a simple letter from FIFA is a source of concern. He lacks legitimacy to be in the office. Players and administrators know all this. How [then] can they perform for someone who is clinging on to power without the mandate from the councillors?” Siwale asked. “FIFA does not vote in member FAs’ elections.
Therefore, they have got no mandate to extend a stay in office of a president or an executive committee. Their duty is to create a normalisation committee if they find that there are problems and this is what we were expecting them to do in this instance.”

He argued that; “these problems will continue as long as Andrew Kamanga is here illegally in office, they will still continue”.

“We need to have legitimacy by office bearers at Football House today. Only then can people and players have confidence in what they are doing and their administrators, and can perform well for mother Zambia,” said Siwale.

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