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.”