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THE football fraternity has welcomed the departure of former national team coach Herve Renard and has called on the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) to engage a local trainer to drill the Chipolopolo.
Minister of Youth and Sport Chishimba Kambwili said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that he respects the decision taken by FAZ to release Renard.
Kambwili said FAZ is responsible for hiring coaches and is happy that the two parties reached a mutual understanding.
Renard has joined French side FC Sochaux.
Kambwili said Renard was a good coach who will be remembered for the glory he brought to Zambia.
He wished Renard well in his endeavours.
“Renard was not glued to Zambia forever and if he decides to leave, who are we to say no. I respect the step taken by FAZ because they are the ones who hire coaches and we only provide the money. He was a good coach and we can only wish him well,” he said.
Former Zambia coach Fred Mwila said Renard’s departure is not surprising.
“He promised that he will do his best to take us to the World Cup and that he was going to leave if he doesn’t achieve his goal. He is a man of his words. His departure is not surprising,” Mwila said.
He said while FAZ are free to secure for the services of an expatriate coach, it is important for the national soccer governing body to give chance to local coaches to be in charge of the Chipolopolo.
Mwila said there are a lot of local coaches that could deliver if given chance.
Renard’s former assistant Patrice Beaumelle will be at the helm of the team.
Former national team skipper Dickson Makwaza said Renard did well to leave as he was going to be under pressure if he held on to the job.
“The sudden departure of Renard may be as a result of what he promised the Zambians, to qualify the team for the World Cup finals. I guess he predicted his future and did not want to put himself under pressure.
“But all in all, Renard did a commendable job and may God guide him in his new job,” said Makwaza, who captained the national team to the runners-up position at the 1974 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Former FAZ vice-president Emmanuel Munaile said Renard’s departure is welcome, as any coach in his state could have done the same.
“When a coach who has a job decides to attend an interview elsewhere, it entails that he is not happy with the conditions under which he is working, or his employers are not happy with him. I do not know which one applies to Renard,” Munaile said.
The former Mufulira Wanderers, Zanaco and Zambia midfielder said he is not worried with the vacancy at the Chipolopolo but is concerned about how FAZ will handle his replacement.
Zambia Sports Fans Association chairperson Peter Makembo said he did not expect Renard to leave when his contract was still running.
Renard’s contract was supposed to expire in June 2014.
Makembo, however, said there is no need to cry over spilt milk as Zambia has a number of qualified coaches who could fill up the position.
He named Honour Janza, Keagan Mumba, Masautso Mwale, Patrick Phiri and Fighton Simukonda, among others, as some of the coaches who should be considered for the Chipolopolo top job.
Chipolopolo Soccer Fans Association chairperson Yotam Mwanza said Renard has left an indelible mark in the history of Zambian football by winning the country’s first ever Africa Cup.
“We can only wish him the best and thank him for the first Africa Cup he brought to Zambia. The country will never forget what he has done,” Mwanza said.

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