Ponga Liwewe
Ponga Liwewe

Football expert Ponga Liwewe says the selection of Christopher Katongo and Isaac Chansa into the CHAN squad is detrimental for the long term development of the next generation of players.

Liwewe said Zambia should be looking at bigger objectives such as qualification for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He said to include two players who will not be a part of this qualification process in a developmental team loses sight of the purposes of these competitions.

Liwewe said in his Facebook posting that he has always been opposed to the selection of players from the senior national team into junior sides as it adds nothing to their development and denies those players who need the experience to get to the next stage of their growth.

Coach George Lwandamina on Monday revealed that he has added Katongo and Chansa to his CHAN squad that will play in Rwanda finals.

Meanwhile, Isaac Chansa has expressed delight at being recalled to the national team set up adding that he believes his experience will add value to the team at the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament which starts next month in Rwanda.

Chansa, currently on the books of Zanaco, is one of the two Afcon winners who have been drafted into Lwandamina’s 26-man squad along with Christopher Katongo who plays for Green Buffaloes.

“The coaches have shown that they still have belief in me and I want to repay them by working hard because it is not going to be easy. I have to work hard to win a place in the first eleven. Otherwise, it feels great and I am very honoured to be back in the national team,” Chansa said following Tuesday’s morning training session in Lusaka.
Chansa, 31, has 61 previous appearances for the Chipolopolo which all came between 2004 to 2013.

He reckons that the current crop of players is very skilled and that even if he does not get to play, his contribution will be valuable in other areas.

“My experience and that of Chris will definitely make a difference in the team, not only in the field of play but also in terms of advising the younger players.

“Our 2012 Africa Cup of Nations experience will come in handy for the young players.
“Personally, I hope that my presence in the team will help instill a winning spirit when we get to the tournament,” he said.

“In training, we will try and push everyone; we want to work hard because the teams going to Rwanda want to become champions and we are one of them.

“We have won the Afcon before; we know how sweet the victory is. That is what we are pushing for.”

Chansa added that there will be a lot of expectation placed on him and Chris but they they too are only human.

“The team has been doing well with young players. They might have made mistakes but we all learn through mistakes. Even the big players make mistakes and we as senior players we have been watching and we know that the current squad has a lot of talent. It is just a matter of time and experience, they will bring joy to the country.”

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17 COMMENTS

    • Ponga should have talked to Chansa & Chris before embarrassing himself like a PF.
      It is all about what Chansa was saying

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  1. Ponga you are also lost.Chris and Isaac are FORMER senior National team players.These so called YOUNG BOYS are featuring at U-20,U-23 and senior Team…but they have NO VISION.Look at the way they have messed the country and FAZ!Its unacceptable.National team is not for GROOMING we need trophies…thats the ATMOST.For a long time we have been saying GROOMING,GROOMING…where are they.

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  2. I thought I was supporting ponga not until I read comment of sonko. Indeed senior players are needed. We need chanda and katongo. Look how mbesuma has added value to national team at time the so called young players did us nothing of praise. Just what happened in Senegal recently.

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  3. I feel Ponga is right to some extent. The fact that the Young Boys Tumbled yesterday, does not mean they cant rise. ” The greatness of man is not determined by the number of times he falls, but rather the number times he stands after falling” Lets look at the long term development of the game. Chan should not be about winning but rather about talent identification. Katongo might add some inspiration yes, but he is a player who has run his race already.

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  4. May be the decision was prompted by other countries who have also included some old timers or former professional players who have returned home. But I totally agree with Ponga. The Chan is meant for players who have not yet made it to show their case. Its not only aimed at winning and making a name for the Country. Perhaps CAF should come up with a regulation that players who have played professional football outside their Countries in the last three years should not be selected for the CHAN

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  5. Though we should focus on future bigger tournaments and develop the team accordingly, Mr. Ponga, I think, it is also important to look for any player whom we think can help Zambia win current tournaments. If Isaac and Katongo have a record of being on the winning team, I do not think it is wise to exclude them because of a future team. I believe we should do all it takes to win today while continuing developing a future team. Winning today and developing a future team at the same time is what we need. In fact developing a future team is an unending venture. We must do all it takes to win today.

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  6. Ponga is wrong. Just as much as we are looking at a developmental team, Zambians and you inclusive are tired of just showing our ugly faces at tournaments and come back with nothing. Lets be serious and think as normal humans for once. The under 23 outing was a disgrace. CHAN is not only a developmental project but for home based players who don’t get much game time during CAN and world cup games. Mr expert we expected you to thank our coach for having a winning mentality.

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  7. If old players have something to offer what’s the problem. How wil young players learn from them if they don’t play together. Young players don’t have right of selection just because they are young = they should compete with old prayers. Besides chan is for local prayers.

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  8. Ponga is right you are also right. Most young players are not proactive. I urge them to take up the challenge serious. Note also that if a player can perform even at 50 please include him. I am 55 but can clearly beat most young men!! I know my stamina, even in social life.

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  9. Ponga is off the bar, it may not be the best practice but it’s a good practice, it’s called CAPACITY BUILDING for this young talented players (Team).
    I’m aware by and large there are person politics at play however the coopting of Katongo and Chanda is FORWARD LOOKING in the sense that they will share their experiences both failures and successes with the lads, which is developmental in the long term. Moreover who else is better positioned to tap into than a resource that has done it before.

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  10. lwandamina has done a great job by iincluding Chris and chansa ,they’re good players ,skill and experience go together,so I wonder why ponga came out like that ,he’s he being an expert if I may ask.That’s a tournament and our team need blending.

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  11. Ponga naiwe the coach has only added 2 players to add some experience. Every society needs the elderly for experience and wisdom.

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