Kamanga: Back To Basics Helping Revive AFCON Redemption


FAZ president Andrew Kamanga is backing their back-to-basics policy to finally start showing results as Zambia reboots its 2021 AFCON qualifiers next month, attempting to end a five year absence from the tournament.

Chipolopolo has failed to qualify to the AFCON since 2015; something of a dark cloud that has hang over Kamanga’s regime since he came to power in 2016.

Chipolopolo resume their quest to end a two tournament absence in a fortnights time when they play Botswana in a 2021 Group H qualifier doubleheader at home on November 12 in Lusaka and away on November 16 in Francistown.

Zambia will also be seeking their first Group H points after losing their opening two matches and sit bottom of the pool on zero points with four games left to play.

Kamanga repeated that they had inherited an aging team when they came into power in 2016 that peaked after winning the 2012 AFCON.

“Our executive has been classified as having purely on account of having not gone to the Africa. When you are looking at football development it has to be a holistic approach without targeting one specific,” Kamanga said on Sun FM’s Breakfast Show in Ndola on Saturday.

“Of course Chipolopolo will always be the flag bearer of Zambian football but if you have got structural challenges, you need to fix the bottom before you get to the top. It is almost like you are building a house. You need to have a strong base and that strong base should be sustained.”

Kamanga said the starting point was the 2017 U20 AFCON success, from which Patson Daka, Enock Mwepu and Fashion Sakala emerged, but the process later went through more growing pains in 2018 but have delivered results in subsequent COSAFA U17 and U20 outings.

“The u17 (who won the 2017 COSAFA U17 Cup) were upgraded to U20 while the U20 was elevated to U23,” Kamanga added.

“The U17, since they were still about 15 years old, we decided to throw them in the deep end. Since these tournaments are for development. They played U20 and were knocked out in the first round. We were condemned that we did not do very well but we were focused, next year they ended up in the semis and 2019 they were champions.

“Whatever we were talking about was progressive. The Under-17 also won the (2019) tournament.

“The senior team also did very well we qualified to the CHAN in 2018, we were in the final of COSAFA also in 2017 and 2019 were champions. Last year we had taken all the championships for men in the COSAFA region. Of course CHAN we also qualified to the 2020 edition which has been pushed to 2021.”


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