I wasn’t fired, I resigned, Zambian football too political – Sven

Outgoing National team coach Sven Vendenbroeck says he had resigned as national team coach prior to the announcement by the Football Association of Zambia that his contract would not be renewed.

And Vendenbroeck says the football fraternity in the country is too political, divided and with numerous irresponsible individuals who are only interested in protecting their jobs.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with BBC’s Kennedy Gondwe, Vendenbroeck said he decided to resign in December and informed FAZ about the decision adding that he was thus surprised and disappointed when the association announced that they would not ‘renew’ his contract.

“Well the intention was already spread out in December two weeks after the Mozambique game. And indeed, I said before new year that my intention was to extend, I think also the president spread out his words in media towards myself that the intention was to continue but, after two months and you don’t have an official feedback, that’s one. The second problem was my assistant is not paid from day one until now, so making my bench for the future was also a problem we also could not agree on who could be the local assistant. Yes, and that’s the disagreement that we have. But you could feel that the environment proposed different people than what I would have loved to have. So, I would have loved a full time assistant not linked to a club, and I preferred to keep the one I had from the start. So, all these small things, you feel like maybe my ambition and their ambition is not running parallel,” he said.

“And that’s why I already clearly communicated to the president, I think ten days before they made the press release that it was better to not continue and extend the contract. I said it even on February 14 that I would resign. That the situation was not running parallel, so it was better to stop immediately. Their answer came that because the president was outside the country that we would have a formal meeting were we could deal with my issues and I think three, four days later after the weekend when he came back from duties abroad we had a formal meeting and we agreed as adults to continue until the end of the contract to deal with the Namibia game as good as possible. So, I was surprised and a bit disappointed when the press release of the federation came saying that they would not renew my contract. It’s a bit upside down. I had resigned. I take responsibility but I think not everything was done in a good way as much as possible to allow us to operate better and deliver results.”

And Vendenbroeck says the football fraternity in the country is too political, divided and with numerous irresponsible individuals who are only interested in protecting their jobs.

“For me it was positive. I have to admit that the country is good. The lifestyle is all good. The roads and the facilities are much better than the average on the continent. I would have loved to travel and explore the country, but I didn’t have time for that. So maybe I will do so after my work is done. I can have a few days. On the football side it was tough especially because the landscape and the environment is quite divided. Well it’s a delicate situation. It’s very political, it’s based on status, on self-protection. People Not too much on responsibilities. So yeah, I hope you just have to manage a lot of things, and not to make too much noise and still manage to get what you want. Yeah, it’s a very tough situation, where as a couch it was tough to find me way through, to find balance in doing my job,” he said.

“Many questions that I asked to the federation were not answered and i think it was because if they say no it can come back to them so job protection sometimes. I understand these people, it’s a had economical situation so you want to survive yourself, but it stops development in football. Development in football stops. I think it was not starting to get wrong during my period. I think also the results of the qualification of the world cup Russia hid a bit of issue that were already popping up in football. When you come in you don’t have any notice of what is going on so.”

He said the problems in Zambia’s football started before he arrived on the scene and was unfortunate to have inherited a malfunctioning system.

“After a while, after a week maybe month you discover what is underneath. And I don’t want to use it as an excuse to not qualify because the target was obvious, and we didn’t deliver the qualification. But many thins and I think the Chinese have a very good expression, whether always drops from above to down, that the influence from outside had an impact on what was happening on the field.”

         

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