Zambia: Football Association of Zambia welcomes their week’s column, Greetings from the home of football in Zurich, where they had travelled to track the progress of the world cup bound Copper Queens and network with the movers and shakers of the global game.
FAZ said, “It was heartening to confer with FIFA President Gianni Infantino, his deputy general secretary Mattias Grafstrom and FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsene Wenger. Our national team coach Avram Grant joined us, bringing a technical dimension to our FIFA interaction.
Moreover, there is no doubt that these platforms allow audiences to knock on certain doors to maximize opportunities in the global game.”
The Swiss mission is the equivalent of killing two birds with one stone. They saw Copper Queens continue to build on their world cup journey with a 3-3 draw with Switzerland. The game provided a window to see how much progress has been made but, most importantly, the loopholes that need to be sealed before the tournament kicks off on July 20.
The systematic re-enforcement of the technical bench is part of the FAZ commitment to see the team improve. After including technical advisor Lisa Coleman, they have added other aspects that should give the technical bench a rounded composition in line with the demands of the modern game.
Given the tournament demands, physical trainer Jamie Lawrence will fine-tune the lasses to the expected levels in the next 20 days before the tournament begins. They have a video analyst helping the team through their game and a nutritionist. No matter how welcome these aspects are to the improvement of the girls’ performance, the players’ desire and preparedness will ultimately win the team games.
FAZ are happy that Chipolopolo coach Avram Grant has extended his hand to the ladies’ team in the background to improve the team’s technical outlook. It should be clear that, ultimately, the responsibility of managing the team lies with coach Bruce Mwape, who receives all the necessary support across the board.
With the final friendly match against Germany on July 7, they hope the team will be tournament ready as they head to New Zealand. The schedule of matches will see Zambia face Japan on July 22 in Hamilton before taking on Spain four days later at Eden Park, with the final group game against Costa Rica on July 31 at Waikato Stadium.
Regarding preparedness, the Copper Queens are among the few teams among the participants that have played many high-profile matches, and they have no doubt they will reciprocate this support with good results.
On the men’s side of the business, FAZ has the Chipolopolo kickstarting their title defence at the Cosafa Cup that kicks off on Wednesday in Durban. Grant has given the mantle to his assistant Moses Sichone to lead the technical bench at the tournament. This is a huge opportunity for our local personnel also to showcase the technical nous.
Coach Grant will take a backseat during the Cosafa but will be available for any technical support. Notably, the technical bench has selected several promising young talents that may get a run in the chan qualifiers that will be held at the month’s end.
Finally, they are anxious about the state of preparedness for our continental envoys this year. They hope they remember that they are not carrying their club colours with them but the national flag.
As we already indicated, should they require some support from our national team bench, we will gladly facilitate. This should, however, be at their instigation as they are at liberty to deploy any methods of preparedness as they deem fit. FAZ, We hope the proposed rehabilitation of infrastructure will be done quickly enough to eliminate the possibility of playing home matches in foreign countries.
Furthermore, FAZ added, “We have made it a matter of priority to engage the government on the two stadia they own to ensure that the proposed works commence speedily. We remain hopeful that the nation can still save itself the embarrassment of playing home matches on foreign soil.”