ZAMBIA will on October 15 play five-time world champions, Brazil in an international friendly in the Chinese capital Beijing.
Kalusha said FAZ had in the past been trying to court five reputable football powerhouses in the world to play against the Chipolopolo and was happy that Brazil had agreed to play Zambia.
“We have been trying to play five top teams in the world. It is the first time in the history of Zambian football that we are getting to play Brazil in this high-profile friendly,” Kalusha said.
Brazil are hosting next year’s FIFA World Cup, while Zambia were last week eliminated from the qualifiers for Brazil.
The Brazilian national football team, also known as the Socceroos, has won the FIFA World Cup tournament a record five times: in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and in 2002.
It is the only team to succeed in qualifying for every World Cup competition ever held and is among the favourites to win the trophy every time the competition is held.
Kalusha said it would be a great motivation for the Zambian players to play against renowned Brazilian players like Cesar, Maicon, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Paulinho, Luiz Gustavo, Ramires, Bernard, Neymar and Jo, among others.
Kalusha said Brazil had been playing international friendly games and on Saturday beat Australia 6-0 in a friendly played at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brazil with goals coming from Jo who scored twice, Neymar, Ramires, Pato and Gustavo who scored a goal each.
The FAZ president said coach Renard would definitely use the same team that lost to Ghana 2-1 last Friday in the World Cup qualifier and felt the players that won the 2012 Africa Cup merited to play a team of Brazil’s calibre.
“With due respect, the players have got a lot of merit and deserve to play the likes of Brazil, but ultimately that is the coach’s job. At the end of the day, it will be good exposure for the players to play the likes of Naymar,” Kalusha said.
The FAZ also posted on its website: “This is to confirm that the Football Association of Zambia is agreeable to play an international friendly match against Brazil as follows: date October 15, 2013 at the Beijing National Stadium, in China.”
Meanwhile, Sports Minister, Chishimba Kambwili has lashed out at the Zambia Football Coaches Association (ZAFCA) for saying coach Herve Renard’s performance should reviewed before he can be given a fresh mandate to manage the Chipolopolo.
Kambwili in an interview yesterday said it was unfortunate that ZAFCA who are responsible for protecting coaches’ jobs were in the forefront agitating for Renard’s dismissal for failing to qualify the team to Brazil.
The minister said he had always called for consistency in the national team, including the coaching staff and was surprised that ZAFCA could disown their own kind.
“Now they (ZAFCA) are saying Renard failed, based on what? Renard is only learning the rhythms of Zambian football now and it is important that the guy is given a chance to build a team for the future.
He wondered on what basis Renard could be fired, saying in all fairness, every coach in Zambia and the world-over had at one time or the other failed to meet the target; “Have they been fired?” he asked.
“In that case, there would be no one member in ZAFCA because everyone would have lost their jobs if we had to follow the ZAFCA criteria of firing coaches. I have on many occasions intervened when a Zambian coach is fired or is about to be fired, but if we are to follow the ZAFCA way on Renard, then I do not think there would be any coach standing today, because they would all have been fired,” Kambwili said.
He said if FAZ who are Renard’s employers wanted him to stay on, why would ZAFCA want him fired because he failed to qualify the team to the World Cup?
“I blow ZAFCA offside on this one, they have misfired. I can only urge them to think again. If this is the yardstick they use to measure somebody’s performance, then we’ll see how far they’ll go with their coaches because instead of protecting the coach, they want him fired.
We can start with them and see how many of them will be fired. I can only advise Mr Kangwa to think before he talks, not say something then think afterwards,” Kambwili said adding; “As far we are
concerned, we only listen from FAZ.”