SOCCER administrator Blackwell Siwale says Chipolopolo woes in the AfCON qualifiers will continue as the postponement of the tournament to 2022 will favour those who have made gains.
Siwale has argued that the teams which had collected more points thus far would plan on how they could consolidate their gains while Zambia would be under pressure to win all the remaining matches to increase chances of qualifying to the next edition of the AfCON.
“No, Zambia does not operate in isolation. If the postponement of the AfCON will favour Zambia, it will favour other countries as well. Zambia is not an island. And how are we going to be favoured, we are sitting with minus six goals, with zero points. So what people are thinking now is that all the four remaining games, our opponents must lose them. And we should win all of them! So how are we going to be at an advantage? And in any case, who says we don’t have a team? Wedson Nyirenda almost qualified us to the World Cup when we lost narrowly in Nigeria. It was Wedson Nyirenda, so we had a team already and we have a good team,” Siwale said.
“So, when they say preparing or whatever, I don’t understand. What we haven’t done is to create a good transition of player replacement from the old ones to the new ones that we want to be playing today. You just wake up and say ‘Kalaba won’t [be] called’, why? ‘Mweene, we won’t call him’, why? Call Mweene and let him play a role, not necessarily on the pitch, you can be in camp with him but he is coaching these small boys on what to do on the pitch. Yeah, if Zambia was an island, I was going to say this postponement will favour us but Zambia will compete against other people, so they, too, will be favoured. It’s favouring everybody, in fact it’s favouring more those who have points that we have because they have more time to consolidate on their gains.”
He further said those in charge of football currently were encouraging injuries by allocating fewer than three weeks for teams to train prior to league re-opening on July 18.
“In coaching, there is what they call a six-week cycle. Six weeks cycle means that is the time the muscles can be flexible enough to be used for competitive matches. It might take not less than six weeks in order for you to avoid injuries. Ask coaches, they will tell you that these players resume training six weeks before, now you give them two weeks then you expect a lot of injuries,” said Siwale. “Keep in mind that the games will be so compressed, one, two. Immediately after finishing this season, we will get into another meaning along the season, we will see a lot of injuries. So, when we see these guys make those decisions, it only means that they are in their own world and we are in another.”