Zambia miss out on 2019 Egypt AfCON

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…as visiting Namibian national soccer team coach Ricardo Mannetti advises Zambia to trust in projects and not individuals.

MUKWIMA CHILALA writes

@SunZambia

Following Sunday’s last round of qualifiers for AfCON 2019, it has now officially dawned that Zambia will not be at 2019 Egypt Africa Cup of Nations.

Zambia bow out of the competition on high having thumped nemesis Namibia 4-1 to end the round of qualifiers with some dignity and pride having had what many have termed a disastrous campaign.

Following the disastrous campaign, many have now been asking the question, what next for Zambia, should the big footballing country head back to the drawing board as has been the cliché?

Visiting Namibian national soccer team coach Ricardo Mannetti has advised Zambia to trust in projects and not individuals like has been the case in Zambian football over the last few years where coaches changed now and then.

Manneti has advised Zambians to entrust its coaches with long term projects which translates into long-term results rather than immediate results.

He gave an example of himself and two of his assistants who have been at the helm of the national team job for the past 10 solid years which has resulted in some COSAFA Championship, CHAN qualification and now the ultimate qualification of Namibia to AfCON in its history.

His archenemy in Saturday evening’s game, Aggrey Chiyangi believes the onus is now up to stakeholders to plan for what the future holds for Zambian football.

Chiyangi says Zambia should take a leaf from their neighbours Namibia who have kept the same coach for a long period of time.

“We should take a leaf from Namibia, they have kept their coach for this long, now is the time to start pointing fingers, we really need to put the nation ahead even if I am not there,

“I want to see Zambia going forward because coaches are only loved when they go away,” said Chiyangi after Zambia’s game against Namibia.

He said nations are quick to condemn whenever there is a loss, when it was important to give coaches chance ‘to finish a project’

Now that the qualifiers are done, there is need to for FAZ to take introspection and forge ahead by now planning for future tournaments such as AfCON 2021 and Qatar 2022 World Cup as time and again Zambia has proven of having abundant talent.

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