By Derick Chibilu

Watching the chipolopolo boys loose to Algeria on Sunday prompted me to voice my opinions about just what could be the bigger problem for not only the chipolopolo boys but Zambians at large. Please understand that I have come to these conclusions only after looking at a variety of areas and issues that concern Zambians at large. First let me stress the fact that these are my personal opinion and are in no way meant to look down on anyone, but that we can look inside us and bring out the best that there is in.

Let me start with Soccer for many years now Zambia has been a household name in African Soccer, and yet we’ve never won the Africa Cup nor have we qualified for the world cup. We have always relied on other teams to bail out. But watching Zambia play on Sunday made me release just why as Zambians we’ve never been able to break that grass ceiling. Take for example, Kenyans, Somalian, Nigerians, Ghanaians, these have all been successful in different areas be it running or soccer. Then I thought about Zambia could it be lack of talent not at all.

We have so much talent. I then figured out that it has much to do with our up bringing and background. Our culture has much to do with why we can’t excel in many competitive areas. First the Algerians were just more superior than Zambia was, second, the Zambian players relied so much on the referee to bail them out, and one would think that we learned a lesson from Dilamba in the Morocco game. Back to my point the kind of superiority exhibited by the Algerians was so obvious that Algeria was the better candidate to qualify to the 2010 FIFA world cup. I would rather see us been embarrassed by Algeria in the qualifying game that to have Spain or Brazil humiliate us on cable network.

Defeated... National soccer team players on their arrival from Algeria at Lusaka international airport
Defeated... National soccer team players on their arrival from Algeria at Lusaka international airport

Just what is the Problem?

First of all Zambia lacked the physical fitness necessary to compete at that level. The physical condition was not there at all. Second individual players just lacked the positive attitude necessary to perform, and I believe this is the problem facing most Zambian, not just football players but majority of Zambians who grow up getting handouts from their parents or uncles and whoever the guardian maybe. I believe that the difference between those who are successful and the ones that are not is the attitude.

Majority of Zambians lack that positive attitude to want to excel rather we settle for names that do not warranty anything. We need to start believing in our individual efforts and abilities to propel others to succeed. Learn to take advantage of individual opportunities that come our way. Ever wondered why Zambian players fail to break into major leagues such as the Italian, Spanish or premier leagues, its this one simple reason.

Those teams look for players that will exhibit uniqueness in their abilities and show a high soccer IQ. Zambian did not exhibit that on Sunday and so the reasons for that lose. Algerian players showed individual brilliance that they taunted the Zambian players with the style of play. The fact is our players didn’t not show up at all costing us the game, not that Algeria was a hard nut to crack; we just didn’t have the tools to do the job.

Our players should stop being cry babies and focus on doing the job right. I feel saddened that this is a problem that majority of Zambians suffer from we have been used to being casual in our approach to issues even when we stand to individually profit from the efforts. This problem unfortunately extends across the board be it in our careers, politics, and our personal lives, we always look for somebody else to take a lead. Take for example graduates from our local universities the cry is they can’t fins jobs.

Why not become innovative and become an employer. Michael Dell started his computer company in a college dormitory. Firefox one of the most popular internet browsers was started by two students one from Stanford University and a friend from Australia who are now billionaires. Face book was started by a group of friends who after a part wanted a way to share their pictures with family and friends and so the popular face book was born, the list goes on.

In conclusion I want to leave any Zambian teenager out there with this challenge that you can only become who you make yourself to be. Life is about taking risks and having a positive attitude to propel you to high heights. If settling for the minimum is your goal, then your life has been a success. Waiting for somebody else to lead the way is one step too late. God has blessed our country with so much talent which we have not utilized to the full potential. I pray that somebody out there will hear my message and help put mother Zambia on the world stage for the first. Awaken oh Mother Zambian.

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56 COMMENTS

  1. As much as that review hurts, damn it’s true. Medicrity has been burned into our souls and we have become a pathetic, baseless, prideless, cultureless people with no verve to live. Just look at the political situation in our country right now with RB running government like a chicken run! What are Zambians doing about this? Nothing! We just complain & b*%# about it over a beer in the bars, on blogs, on the bus ride home and that’s it. You honestly expect our soccer team to be any more aggressive??? Please give me a break. let’s stop criticising the Chopopolo on poor performance and instead look at ourselves first! Disgusting…

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  2. There was nothing much expected when you do not prepare adequately. Zambian National soccer team has not played players consistently.The technical bench is non existent the selection of players from weak premier league is pathetic (There is football in Division just watch).The worst part is that not every professional is upbeat more especially they are playing from non competitive leagues around the world including China. From FAZ there is no clear plan as to what they want to achieve apart from enriching themselves so my appeal is that, let us start to build a team for future by tapping talent from a broader base and stop the nonsense of allowing fake scouts on players wishing to play abroad.Lastly government should encourage private entities to take up sport in ZED.

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  3. The biggest problem is that non of the Zambian Football Players reads Lusakatime, they could have improved by now, WOZA SOCCER FANS. ZAMBIA KU AFRICA CUP, WE ARE BEHIND YOU GUYS.

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  4. There is something to be said about BELIEF!!! If you don’t believe in your own abilities no one will!! Simple, end of story. Zambian football, and just Zambia in general, will only excel if we start believing in ourselves and in our own abilities to be the “architects” of our own destiny. It be in sports (football), economics, politics, business, extra. For as long as we keep pinning our hopes on our opponents to perform badly, we will always be disappointed.

    Football today has become very technical and business-like venture, which calls for adequate planning, serious and clear strategies, hard work, and dedication. Relying on LUCK is, simply put, ‘voodoo’ football—WE HAVE TO LEARN TO WORK AND PLAN FOR GLORY. As Americans would say, “there is no free lunch,…

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  5. Very good words of encouragement indeed. I personally have leant something from this. You have to make things happen as an individual. You dont have to depend on others always.

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  6. NIce one,bro.They say that if you want something done,then do it yourself.There’s this syndrome of entitlement in Zambia.Pwople think that they’re entitled to alot of things,but they dont want to work for me.For example,we have so many youths that cry for free education,but only to come and waste that opportunity when they’re given government sponsorship to study abroad.Most people also think that they’re entitled to good jobs after college and then the funny thing is where do you think those jobs will come from if the country is devoid of job creators.Why does it have to take a Chinese national to spot out the potential in our backyard and come to make money……….and the best we can do is cry like babies after poor salaries?You got to realise that no one is coming to better your…

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  7. I posted a comment on tuesday where I commented that for zambia to perform better we need to look at our system of doing things and that ‘we reap what we sow’. If we want to do well in sport and anything for that matter, we need to invest from the bottom up, this has to start with our children at home, in schools. If I may ask how many kids do you see playing chipombwa these days ?, very few. Most of the time they are busy watching TV and computer games. Just getting billions of kwacha for the national team will never qualify Zambia to big tornaments like the world cup. Am working on a plan to bring kids who show potential in football into schools as long they have certificates. This used to work before, we had school boys internationals. Expect results for this plan in 2018 world cup.

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  8. fresh memories of kelvin mutale have come. we had makinka, wizkid, hey eston mulenga yellowman, hmmmmmmmmmm, if only we can go back to the formula those boys used. and please when you find the formula dont travel outside zambia in one bunch coz the plane may crash again.

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  9. The formula is very simple, like someone above stated. We need to start working from bottom upwards and not the other way round hoping for some kind of luck to strike.

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  10. Even the attire tell s a story…players are supposed to be in dressed in the same attire thats why they are called a team. In some Countries failing to go to the world cup would mean heads rolling..but here its life as usual.

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  11. #13, it’s the fear of being hustled by angry fans after losing. I guess they feel much safer as they can easily mingle with the general public without being noticed.

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  12. We are never serious with the way we do things. Algeria had put in alot in terms of preparations against Zambia. That was the best the boys had to put in otherwise it would have been 5-0. The boys could not even shoot from afar all they wanted was to run with the ball into the net. Its better Algeria has gone through they deserve a place at RSA 2010 World Cup. Lets us admit our inadquancies. We are far from competing at the levels of World Cup. You cant win on arithematic calculations like City Ya Moto. Even our so called Super League, look at the goes being scored by Top Scorers, Very low. There is still alot to be done. It was even better watching a game between Chingola High Sch Vs Mwinilunga High Sch not ma rubbish ya National Team. Disband and start afresh.

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  13. Any meaningful Zambian would not want our team to go to the world cup. there is little investment and political will from all of us. Fire Kalusha bwalya & ask fifa to give us a break and start afresh. coz even the Africa Cup are u telling me that they will beat Algeria & Egypt there? when they cant beat them now?

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  14. The problem is with poor preparations. Kalusha too is to blame. Remember the London saga? Well, most of thse that made the first team against Algeria weren’t part of the team that played Ghana. They fielded students. Did the same students feature against Algeria?

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  15. Not long ago, Kalusha was preaching that for soccer in Zambia to develop to a meaningful level, FAZ and therefore footbal in Zambia must be run by people who talk football. Wenow have the same people that talk football runnning FAZ but what are the gains? My own view is that we will lose to Egypt when we next meet and Rwanda will not be easy to beat.

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  16. Looking at their faces they are the type that loose the match before the ball is even kicked. In fact they look like caddies not national team footballers.

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  17. I wouldn’t like to take away from Kalusha’s achievements as a player during his prime. We thought he would improve the game as a coach, considering his vast exposure in Europe and elsewhere. We are learning it the hard way. After a below par performance as Zambia National Team Coach, he pushed himself into soccer administration. Whence came a stream of bad performances. Besides coaching and soccer administration, how much exposure do our National Team players have before major tournaments? Surely, the COSAFA league featuring the likes of Tico Tico isn’t enough to fully expose our boys to competitive football. Even Bafana Bafana have realised that the only way to bring the best out of Teko Modise is to expose the lad to quality international players. Algeria is miles ahead in experience.

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  18. I agree with Blackface. I do not think the current crop of players has failed us. The coach and the players are fine and I believe are heading for a good future. Algeria is a big team. If your main goal was to qualify for the 2010 world cup then you were wrong and too ambitious. We should always gauge ourselves for every competition. Right now we are only CAN materials. Once we begin to compete favourably within our local league thats when we will start talking about world cup.

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  19. Blame it on Kalu and FAZ. They have messed our team up. The players look like kaponyas…uselesss. I put up an article on zampeople website about them. I am gutted. The next time they pick a team, they should go to UNZA, Evelyn Hone, Zamim and CB. Atleast those guys understand what a tactic and formula is..not these kaponyas. Useless over paid baboons

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  20. Someone may come from the closet and put up an argument, ‘but those days of Dickson Makwaza, Kapela Katumpa, Jani Simulambo, Ucar Godfrey Chitalu, Gentile, Great Kalu and the like, we used to beat big teams even from North Africa.’ Football has changed bwana! Did you watch Didier Drobga score two beautiful goals for Ivory Coast against Burkina Faso this week? My! my! my!

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  21. While I agree with the with the article, I also wish to point out that our preparation has not been adequate. The goal minder only joined the team in Algeria. What do you expect from a one week stint in France. The teams that have achieved have had long histories of preparation. I pity the boys, they looked defeated but I think they tried their level best. You cannot fatten a cow on the market day. So untill we get serious with our preparations, we will always loose.

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  22. #10.Despite the loss to Algeria,I feel Zambia can still get a good result from Egypt.The only problem is that Rwanda will clobber us in Kigali.I watched the Rwanda vs Egypt game and the Egyptians were very,very lucky to win that game.You could see the relief in their faces when the game ended.
    With the world cup dream shuttered,Zambia still has to work extra beat Rwanda and Egypt.Otherwise this whole campaign will bear no fruits.

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  23. All the chipolopolo defence players are foolish. in our time, when strikers don’t score we did not allow any goals.They allowed two goals in Chililabombwe and one in algeria . I watched your rubbishness up to 01:00hrs at night without sleeping and you think i am happy. Sometimes FAZ try to be serious. why do you hate Chintu Kampamba ? remember how well he played at the last africa cup.Jacob Mulenga and Chis Katongo i do not need you any more in our team and thank you.Kalu why can’t you fire that white mulamu of yours before we fire you?..

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  24. I think the boys did the best. As zambians we always talk as thought we are the likes of Cameroon, Ghana, Egypt and Ivory Coast plus other strong teams. The simple fact that we wanted so badly to qualify for the world cup does not give us the access on a silver platter. One thing we must be thankful about is that we have a very good coach. Lets have a plan. What is our five year plan for instance?

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  25. The nail has been precisely hammered on the head! Well said Derrick! Zambia only wins by chance but the fans get excited and believe Zambia is a great team. Oh my foot! We are one of the worst teams on the continent! If we were that good we would have beaten Algeria! The only team that we can boast about is that of 1974, when Zambia played the Zaire Leopards in the
    Africa Cup in Cairo.That year the cup would have been ours but CAF blundered and we lost . Soccer fans, please stop this foolish excitement about our national team, you are only making them worse!

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  26. Zambia needs to start over!! First of all we desperately need to admit that we do have a problem and then figure out how to sort it out. Winning should not be based on hope…hope can only materialise if a fair amount of sacrifice has been invested!! What investment have we seen go into the sports provision? Whats our sports vision for the next10/20yrs? We have no strategy………..no plan, no direction!! Look at the guys in the picture above. These guys are being blamed for their poor performance yet, they can only do their best. It’s not only the players at fault here…but a chain of incompetent sports administrators aswell!!

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  27. look all you chaps!soccer in Zambia is treated like a hobby,too much influence from vima politicians,stealing monies poor living conditions of the entire team(s),can anyone honestly think if you look at Mamelodi Sundowns in SA player’s conditions compared to ours we are still in the woods,Algeria is superior in may ways,they have high standards of play,discipline,pay conditions living conditions,even when our boys meet these guys they play on our weak psychos,we are first mentally deafeated the physically on the pitch,so all of us who think we can perform ‘wonders’ you are in dream zone WAKE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  28. enough is enough what we need now a german style football skills,a coaching team of three,

    one for goalkeeping,one for fitness,one for system and tactic,we are a great football nation and dont deserve such humiliation,we need a coaching staff that is able understand the mentality of our nation and our players,

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  29. a person can only be as ambitious to the limits he’s been exposed to.however working to reach those limits does not mean they will stop him from exceeding them.the furthest your sight can see is the horizon but with each step you take towards it,though you do not realise it,the horizon gets further and further for you i.e expands,as they love to say “expand your horizons!” the only way to expand your horizon is to move toward it.the author talks about people who created facebook,firefox and the like.ask most of those people if they ever thought they would get as big as they are today,the’ll probably tell you”no!”.

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  30. Palibe analysis apa ba LT. If this is what you call analysis no wonder we wont solve our problems. Sikelemi (10) writes better than the writer of this hogwash. For example how do you conclude that the Algerians were more superior? In what aspects? Tell us. Because they didn’t rely on the referee? Come on guys lets have some logic in whatever we write.

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  31. Despite what it is said on this page, and as an Algerian I found that Zambia football team a tough adversary, especially the game played in Algiers. This is football and it’s difficult sometimes to find the right combination for a wining team! everybody knows that it takes more than just skilled individuals, and politics shouldn’t play any role in sports as such! We in Africa tend to mix everything and try to justify the unjustifiable! a wining team is not a mirror of how politicly stable is a country! I wish Zambia team future success and as the author of this article pointed out, “Life is about taking risks and having a positive attitude to propel you to high heights” Best Regards

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  32. Hey guys that is why its called a GAME, CONTEST,FIGHT,CLASH which requires great effort and i mean great EFFORT and that attempt or sweat should and does not come over night,it needs a well defined VISION which will include the MISSION statement which the team should understand every time they put on national colors, at least am able to see for the first time the openness of our coach cause he said it that he,s plans is to take the team to CAN but the question, is THE TEAM ABLE TO MOVE WITH HIM or…. You can finish pls good day

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  33. The guys on the picture do not look as footballers.Football is no longer about skills.”Brain football” i call it is to day s game.In the pitch, you simply finish what you started in the dressing room.We need good football academies from under 7 years.Pa zed people discover on there own that they can play when they about 12 years, i know you will argue that Kalusha did it that were but believe it or not in this computer world these are changing and very fast.We have skill but now we got to add intelligeth at early stages if we are to compete out side zambia.

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  34. If 1964 was point Zero we have worked so hard that we are on Negative 1000.The average Zambian has Zero confidence, No dreams and no vision. You can see this in our leaders too by the way they behave, talk and conduct themselves.I believe that there is some light at the end of the tunnel, the problems is that the tunnel is 150 year long.

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  35. That was pure comedy,guyz can’t even kick a ball,those comedians(zambia soccer team) will surely rank number 1 on the funniest soccer clips chart

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  36. U ar wasting tax payers money. It’s beta we invest that money in agriculture. Naku African Cup mwikayako, muleonaula indalama bafikamba fyenu. U think we take any pride in winning COSAFA?

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  37. FAZ is to blame.

    History:
    Zambia National football team did very well under good soccer administrators [The likes of David Phiri, Michael Mwape, Tom Mtine, Haniff Adams etc]… remember we used to wear copper and black consistently – away? even at home?

    Present:
    The Chipolopolo are doing badly. We don’t have good soccer administrators in former players Emmanuel Munaile, Kalusha Bwalya etc …we wear green or white … forced by Nike or some imitation nike Marketing Co. or is it because it would not be profitable ‘for them’ to make copper/black jerseys! or it’s because Zambia would look too powerful for the rest of the world! We have lost our heritage FAZ, NSCZ and the Ministry in Charge, wake up.

    Bottom line is we are lacking proper planning and foresight. Kalu…

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  38. Something has gone wrong in zambia in every department not only soccer. We need come together as a nation and see where we went wrong and reconcile one to another before it is too late. We need to do the Moses\ way of searching who the causer of their lose to a small is, until Akan was fishered out. Then they had to prosper again over their enemies. Even the way we have dealt with some of the former leaders???? It may sound unfavourble but….anyway!

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  39. Why do we expect our national team to be good when we are not good in jobs. For instance the journalist who wrote this article. “Down goes Zambia once more again, what then is the problem”.  Is this English?

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  40. We are simply a batch of i-dio-ts as a country. The only time a Zambian is aggressive if when he is beating his wife under the influence of beer. We can all be unhappy but put up with it, talk about it in buses and bars. We are all lazy, with no confidence .Wonder why we go out to compete and only expose our disgusting culture of living to the world. Thank God we have never gone to the world cup we could make history as the first team to loose 9-0.What have we ever done well -the poorest, the most AIDS hit lots, now the most brainless leadership. Zambia shall be saved.

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  41. I totally agree with the author . Zambians are mostly apathetic and passive, we call it peace and justify for lack of the competitive spirit that seeks excellence. There is no fighting spirit or attitude to excel. I dont iknow if anyone was listening to General Miyanda campaign to lead the country . He used to talk about the broken spirit of the nation. I think thats what this author has well articulated.Having grown up in Zambia and invested my talents in the country I love, I have come to the conclusion that its a spiritual problem were success is mourned rather than celebrated, desired rather than aimed for, subotaged rather than built up. truthfully speaking ubwina Zambia ia synonimous with stone aged strategies for living. Blame the ‘Ubwana nyina’ concept from founding fathers.

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  42. the problem is….the problem is..all we have is just full of problems,n i think we cant blem no one,fans only complains nga chakubaba so much enda ndiwe muku teya,,support the team talk to the goverment,

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