CHIPOLOPOLO coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojević yesterday cracked his first whip as Zambia trainer when he dropped Tanzania based duo Clatous Chama and Aubrey Chirwa for failing to make it to camp on time.
Zambia has a tight schedule ahead of their back to back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Botswana next month, starting with an international friendly against Malawi today.
After Malawi, Chipolopolo is expected to play Kenya and South Africa as Micho shapes up his charges for the must-win encounters against Botswana.
Speaking at a briefing when unveiling his team at Football House yesterday, the Serbian said no player was bigger than the country, stressing the need to treat all players equally.
He said throughout his career, he had anchored his work on four pillars of discipline, hard work, family values and order.
“We are having a situation where I have always looked like a nice guy in front of you. I have tried to be generator of positive energy, however all my life, living last 30 years in Africa, I have worked under the four pillars for my survival in African football. First pillar is discipline, second pillar is absolute order and organisation, third pillar is fanatic hard work followed by science and fourth pillar [is] family atmosphere based on good; in this case Zambian tradition of respecting [others] and being respected,” Micho said.
The visibly disappointed coach said he has been left with no option but to excuse the two players who have failed to pitch up as expected.
“Players from Tanzania were supposed travel on Monday night. However, they missed the flight. We have been flexible and set another flight for [Tuesday morning], they have missed the flight again, now they are asking to come tomorrow [today] and whatsoever. When someone comes from Russia 10,000 kms away and someone is here bordering us, with all due respect, based on that pillar that I told you, I will not allow that anyone is bigger than the nation,” said Micho.
“Therefore, with my unilateral decision supported by this institution, I have decided that I remove from these matches until further notice the gentlemen Chama Clatous and Aubrey Chirwa. We wish all the best to them but there is no person that is bigger than the nation and we cannot allow this.”
Full Team named ahead of the three matches:
Goalkeepers: Jackson Kakunta, Sebastian Mwange, Lameck Siame
Defenders: Kabaso Chongo, Mwape Tandi, Chiboni Kondwani, Banda Luka, Dominic Chanda, Chilongoshi Zacharia, Benedict Chepeshi
Midfielders: Klings Kangwa, Sakala Benson, Leonard Mulenga, Kelvin Kapumbu
Godfrey Ngwenya, Gozon Mutale, Chilufya Edward, Lubambo Musonda, Amity Shamende, Bruce Musakanya, Chaniza Zulu, Collins Sikombe, Kelvin Mubanga
Strikers: Evans Kangwa, Fashion Sakala, Gamphani Lungu, Emmanuel Chabula Akakulubelwa Mwachiaba