FOOTBALL fans have demanded that the Football Association of Zambia dismisses national team coach Beston Chambeshi for poor team selection.
On Tuesday, Zambia were beaten 2- nil by Tunisia at Levy Mwanawasa stadium in Ndola in the World Cup qualifier, after starting so well against Mauritania whom they beat 2-1 last Friday.
After the match finished, fans started uttering unprintables against Chambeshi, with some accusing him of sourcing players from Facebook.
Others called for dis immediate dismissal, citing lack of capacity to select a proper team.
‘’Ici mucitamfyefye (just dismiss this guy), leave umusungu pa (the white man on the) bench. These Zambian coaches abuse the goodwill to pick players freely and start picking players to market for their agents,’’ one fan complained. ‘’Ifi fyabupuba (this is foolishness), how can a person leave out better players and play kids in World Cup qualifiers? Mucitamfyefye (just dismiss him).
Edmund Musonda, a fan, added: ‘’This is a senior national team, senior players are there and he goes to pick U-20 players who do not merit selection to play in this competition, what kind of thinking is that? Not everyone of his 2017 U-20 deserves to play here. In fact, those three: Mwepu, Patson and Fashion are the only ones who deserve places in this team. Takwaba ifyaifi (we can’t have such things).’’
Another one yelled: “Ba Chambeshi (Mr Chambeshi), this is not Nkana. When you local coaches are not considered mulalila nomba ninshi mufwaya (you complain, so what do you want)? You start with a strong bench and weak starting 11 sure?
But in a post-match interview, Chambeshi accused the defence of having gone to sleep.
‘’We conceded an early goal, and if you do that against an experienced team you will get punished. The finishing from our boys was not good
We came into the game we had a few chances, the defence went to sleep,’’ said Chambeshi. ‘’Overall, the boys fought for the game but that is how the game of football is. We had confidence in the team, the game plan was to start the team that started in Mauritania.’’
Chambeshi started with the same untested players, replacing Enock Mwepu with Dickson Chapa, and Brian Mwila taking Patson Daka’s place.
Mwila was highly isolated upfront due to the inefficiency of Chambeshi’s midfield picks of Boyd Musonda and Prince Mumba, with Edward Chilufya running headless on the right flank.
Tunisia captain Wahbi Kazhri gave the visitors a lead in the seventh minute via a penalty after Benedict Chepeshi was adjudged to have handled in the box, to give his side a huge boost.
But inexperience in the Zambian starting line-up had no response to the questions posed by the visitors.
Tunisia went into half time leading 1-0 with the 5,000 fans inside the stadium wailing for a change in personnel as Chilufya, Musonda and Lubambo Musonda were way off the mark.
On resumption, Chambeshi finally yielded and introduced mercurial Kelvin Mubanga for Chilufya and Clatous Chama for Musonda and the impact was immediate, with the duo combining to almost grab an equaliser, save for the brilliance of goal keeper Ben Mustapha who made a couple of interventions.
Zambia continued probing and pinned the Tunisians in their own half.
The Tunisians only managed one threat at Zambia’s goal on 85 minutes, which underlined Chambeshi’s starting line-up.
Zambia’s substitutes were clear game-changes but they came late as the visitors had enhanced in defensive play.
Fans were clearly angered by Chambeshi’s selection and hailed unprintables as the experienced subs clearly changed the complexion of the proceedings.
In trying to push for an equalizer, Zambia dropped the guard and Tunisians capitalised in addition time to score the second goal running out 2-0 winners to go top of group B.
Most fans are dissatisfied with Chambeshi, believing that he kept the best players on the bench.
And FAZ president Andrew Kamanga assured that the team was not completely out of the qualifiers.
‘’We are not completely out; we have a chance to fight for all the three points. It’s disturbed us but we played better today and lost, but we will prioritise the next two games,’’ said Kamanga.