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Nkandu blames technical bench for Zambia’s fall from grace

GOVERNMENT has asked the national football team technical bench to put its house in order.

On Sunday evening, Zambia drew one-all with Equatorial Guinea at Heroes Stadium, a result which confirmed Chipolopolo’s exit from the Qatar 2022 World Cup campaign.

And interim coach Beston Chambeshi’s contract ends this month end, with his record showing only one win in four matches, two losses and a draw.

Sports minister Elvis NKandu has expressed outright disappointment with the team’s performance, especially that they were on home ground.

“We are very sad because this is the game that we expected to win, for us to get a draw does not help matters. The technical bench should put their house in order because when we were leading one-nill there was no need for them to stay back,’’ he said. ‘’They were supposed to attack because the best defence is attacking. But what we saw is that they stayed back after leading one-nill. I don’t know who told them to stay back. Let the technical people (FAZ) get to the drawing board and see how best it could be done. As a ministry we cannot tell them to fire anyone, that’s their responsibility. We are doing our job as a ministry to facilitate whatever they want to do; the supporters have also supported the team.”

He added that it was now up to the association to sort out the issue of the coaches as government was ready to pay any coach.

“Definitely, now it’s up to FAZ to sort out these issues because we can’t continue losing because this is more like losing; this is our home ground and it’s high time FAZ looked at what is supposed to be done,” Nkandu added.

“I don’t think we should continue playing like this, like it’s business as usual. People should be held responsible for the results because Zambian people want results, and people in charge should make sure that things start changing. Our role and duty is to pay for the coach, so it’s up to FAZ because we don’t employ coaches and it’s not our responsibility to employ a coach. The only role that we play is to be told they have employed a coach and the coach needs this much, that’s when we come in and we have never failed to do that. I am not saying they should fire anyone; I am saying it’s their responsibility to find a coach and employ.’’

And Nkandu said the team’s failure to qualify to the World Cup was not government’s or FAZ’s fault but the technical bench which has failed to read games.

“As a ministry, we have a duty to pay the coach, so if they find a coach they will come to our ministry and liaise with us; then we will be able to facilitate and we will make sure that we negotiate with FAZ so that what is required to do we do it,” said Nkandu.

“The players are managed, who knows maybe when they came to drink water they were told to sit back, who knows! I am not insinuating anything but that’s what I saw. After leading they stayed back and that’s not the ministry’s problem. In fact, that’s not also FAZ problem; it is the problem of the technical bench to make sure that their players play according to instructions.”

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