FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) life member Patrick Nkole has accused the Zambia Football Coaches Association (ZAFCA) of not doing enough to protect the interests of coaches in the country.
Nkole said in an interview yesterday that the recent firings of coaches seemed not to bother ZAFCA as the motherbody needed to speak and advocate for the welfare of its affiliates.
“I am very surprised that ZAFCA seems not to be bothered about the unfolding events where clubs are firing coaches at will. We all know that coaches operate under difficult conditions because of too much interference by officials,” Nkole said.
Nkole urged ZAFCA to come up with a mechanism that will ensure that coaches are protected from unfair treatment by their employers.
“We should not rush to blame coaches for the teams’ failures and let alone the falling standards of Zambian football. We should first appreciate what the problem is before taking action and I think the problem is bigger than the coaches, so ZAFCA should take this up and ensure that coaches are protected,” he said.
The former Chipolopolo defence kingpin’s comments come following the sacking of Israel Mwanza at the FAZ Division One North side First Quantum Minerals (FQM) after a spate of poor results.
Mwanza was the latest coach to get the boot after Nkana assistant coaches Gift Kampamba and Zeddy Saileti were shown the door last month while the Forest Rangers duo of Dabid Chilufya and his assistant Willy Nkonde are on forced leave.
Napsa Stars head coach Hector Chilombo together with his assistant Evans Sakala were put on indefinite suspensions while City of Lusaka assistants coaches Tony Mukwasa and Charles Kafula are also serving suspensions.
But ZAFCA vice president Lewis Shambulo said the association has done its level best to teach coaches on contractual matters.
Shambulo said it was highly unfair for the two veterans to accuse ZAFCA of failing to carry out its mandate when the association had made headway in improving the standards of coaches through capacity building.
“We have a standard contract that we use to help our coaches but as you know, a contract is between a coach and their employers and the conditions are agreed between the two parties. ZAFCA can only come in to sensitise our members on what to look for in a contract which we have done diligently,” Shambulo said.
Former ZAFCA vice secretary Moses Kabaila said there was need for serious introspection into the failures by the coaches.
“According to the FAZ constitution, anyone being employed as a coach must be affiliated to ZAFCA. ZAFCA and FAZ technical director Honour Janza must observe and monitor the performance of coaches and give direction where necessary but they have failed to perform this task. We need to correct this trend as soon as possible,” Kabaila said.