Avram Grant who was handed a two-year contract to revive Chipolopolo Zambia believes the team needs over 40 foreign-based players to compete against Africa’s big guns.
Grant said the current pool of 15 plus foreign-based Chipolopolo regulars is not enough to sustain a challenge.
“I must say one of the challenges in Zambia is instead of 15 players abroad we need to come to 40,” Grant told ZNBC TV Sports.
“They need to come to 40 or 50 because all the teams that are doing well in Africa are the teams that have 50 to 60 players abroad.
“Here, I am not talking about Ghana because they have thousands of players abroad then we will know that we are making progress but I think it is starting now with U17 and U20’s.”
Grant’s comments come after the Israeli became the fourth foreigner to coach Zambia since 2018 and handed the mandate to end Chipolopolo’s failure to qualify for three successive AFCON.
Meanwhile, Grant has four games in which to end that spell with the so-called limited human resource at his disposal.
Grants’ first tests come in late March when Zambia plays Lesotho in a 2023 AFCON Group H qualifier doubleheader at home and away.
Zambia is second in Group H with 3 points, three behind leaders Cote d’Ivoire and tied on points with third-placed Comoros.
Lesotho is bottom with one point.
One team from Group H must win or finish second behind AFCON hosts Cote d’Ivoire to qualify for the tournament.
Cote d’Ivoire are playing their Group H matches as friendlies but results count as official classification to decide the other three teams’ qualification status in the only group where one team will qualify.
The other eleven groups will see the top two teams qualify for the 24-team AFCON that Cote will host from January 5-28, 2024.