The curtain looks set to come down on one of the longest and most controversial coaching reigns this decade on the Zambian football scene.
Celebrated as a rampaging winger, Peter Kaumba faces an unceremonious exit as Zambia Under-23 coach after six years in charge following his team’s emphatic 4-1 away defeat against Cote d’Ivoire in an Olympic qualifier played in Abidjan on Sunday.
The Ivorian’s win meant the West African nation qualified for next Summers Olympic Games football tournament for the first time ever on an unassailable 12 points with a game in hand.
“That (My future as Under-23) is up to the appointing authority and I’m sure that issue will be discussed,” Kaumba said from Abidjan on Sunday after the defeat when asked whether he still had a role to play in team 2011 when Zambia is expected to host the All-Africa Games.
To most Kaumba is aloof, arrogant and unmovable and as rigid as his much-loved 3-5-1 system.
He isn’t also the easiest of coaches to interview and is very famous for his cut and paste comments.
However, his comments in the build-up to the Olympic qualifier in the local press did not go unnoticed and with Sundays score line, it was now a serious case of whose laughing now.
Kaumba is sure to ride the criticism as he endured three difficult and vitriolic seasons as coach at Kitwe United from 2003 to 2006 where he was unmoved all throughout his reign at Garden Park-win or lose.
Many have attacked him for not heeding to popular cry to draft in playmaker Rainford Kalaba and Clifford Mulenga to the team to counter a potential Cote d’Ivoire coup de grace with the drafting in of Chelsea’s striker Solomon Kalou.
Kalou scored one and was influential against Kaumba’s men in the coach’s forgettable return to the land he enjoyed brief success as a player in the mid-80’s at Africasports.
Despite his shortcomings, Kaumba has enjoyed a good run with the Under-23 taking them past the last eight of the two All-Africa games tournament.
Kaumba has also overseen the development of senior national team mainstays Kennedy Mweene, Billy Mwanza, Collins Mbesuma, Jacob Mulenga and Christopher Katongo-all gradutes of his class of 2003.
And on both All-Africa Games occasions, a podium finish eluded him and had to settle for fourth place.
The Olympics, however, is a whole different story.
Kaumba could be excused for his failure in qualifiers for the 2004 Greece finals when Ghana beat them in the race with Kalusha Bwalya taking charge for the decider played in Accra.
In Abidjan this time around Kaumba was left to his own devise and it will be interesting to see how one of the most emotionless figures on the Zambian bench will recover from this episode.
2007 OLYMPIC GAMES AFRICA ZONE FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT QUALIFIERS.
Ghana 0- Nigeria 0
Nigeria – South Africa
Cote d’Ivoire 4(Gervinho 32″ 38″, CissÃ© SÃ©kou 59″,Solomon Kalou 80″)- Zambia 1(Given Singuluma 70″)
Mali 1(Yacouba Diarra)- Senegal 0
Guinea 1(Mohamed Sylla 24″) – Cameroun 3(Aurelien Chedjou 13″, Alexis Enam Mendomo 38″, Christian Bekamanga 85″)
Guinea : 16-Hamidou, 3-Sylla Naby, 4-Camara Aboubakar, 5-SdibÃ©, 2-Bangoura Ibrahim, 8-Sacko, 14-Camara Mohamed (6-Bangoura Siaka, 58′), 12-Diallo (7-Camara Sekou, 54′), 10-Banagoura Ama, 17-Camara Alseny, 9-Sylla (18-Domingo, 70′).
Subs not used : 1-TourÃ©, 15-Djibril, 11-Camara Ibrahima, 13-Sylla Mohamed.
Coach : SemparÃ© Sekou.
cameroon: 16-Tignyemb, 18-Enam, 12-Bebey, 3-Ghomsi, 5-Ndoum, 15-Ewane, 20-Chedjou, (7-NganbÃ©, 72′), 4-Nguemo, 19-OllÃ© OllÃ© (11-Ousmaila’ 62′), 10-Bekamenga, 17-Dona (14-Otobong, 83′).
Subs not used: 6-Adiaba, 8-Toindouba, 2-Ntolla, 1-Mayebi.
Coach : Martin Ndtoungou MpilÃ©.
Botswana 2(Mosimanegape Ramoshibidu, Tebogo Sembowa)- Marocco 0
FAZ PREMIER LEAGUE WEEK 30
Konkola Blades 1(Moses Phiri 33″)-Kabwe Warriors 1(Musonda Mweuke 3″)
Nchanga Rangers 0-Power Dynamos 1(Francis Kombe 57″)
Green Buffaloes 1(Newa Mwewa 90″ +1)-Young Arrows 2(Kruger Mwansa 78″, Lottie Phiri 90″ +2)
Red Arrows 0-Lusaka Dynamos 1(Chalwe Katongo)
City of Lusaka 0-Zesco United 2(Jonas Sakuwaha 25″ 51″)
Zamtel 2(Graven Chitalu 25″ 31″)-National Assembly 0
Zanaco 1(Chisamba Lungu 71″)-Roan United 0
Forest Rangers 1(Chileshe Mulenga)-Nakambala Leopards 1(Dan Masumba)
TOP SCORERS (17/11/07).
Rainford Kalaba (Zesco United): 23.
Enoch Sakala (Zesco United) 22.
Emmanuel Mayuka (Kabwe Warriors): 15.
Lottie Phiri (Young Arrows): 13.
Felix Nsunzu Jr (Konkola Blades):13.
Winstone Kalengo (Zanaco): 12.
Mumamba Numba (Zanaco): 11.
Lyson Sikaonga (Nchanga Rangers): 11.
Josphet Nkhoma (Lusaka Dynamos): 10.
Nicholas Zulu (Zesco United): 10.
Francis Kombe (Power Dynamos): 9.
Maonga Kabuku (Kabwe Warriors): 9.
Dan Masumba (Nakambala Leopards): 8.
Musonda Mweuke (Kabwe Warriors): 8.
Kruger Mwansa (Young Arrows): 8
Simon Luipya (Red Arrows):8.
Siloni Jere (Kabwe Warriors): 8.
Elson Mukandawire (Power Dynamos) 8.
Noel Mwandila (Green Bufffaloes): 8