GOVERNMENT has said the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) is free to engage stand-in Chipolopolo coach ‘Chicken’ George Lwandamina on a long term basis.
This comes in the wake of Government facing difficulties in sourcing the $25, 000 per month salary for an expatriate coach from the corporate world.
Sports Minister Vincent Mwale said Government had no problem with FAZ going ahead with engaging the Zesco United trainer on a long term basis since money for an expatriate was not readily available.
In an interview in Lusaka, Mwale spoke about the difficulties the ministry was encountering in finding the money to pay the Zambia coach.
He said if FAZ saw it fitting for Lwandamina to take up the Chipolopolo top job on a long term basis, Government would be fine with that decision.
Last week, FAZ said it could consider giving Lwandamina a long term contract if Government indicated that there was no money to pay an expatriate coach whom the association had already identified.
“If FAZ is comfortable with George Lwandamina, then it’s with us. But I’ll keep fundraising for the expatriate coach and if I get the money, I’ll keep it so that we can use it when FAZ feels they need an expatriate coach,” the minister said.
Mwale had earlier said it was good that Zambia did not have a coaching crisis at the Chipolopolo with Lwandamina picking up the important wins which have placed the Chipolopolo in joint leadership with Congo Brazzaville in the 2017 Gabon Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
He reiterated that some companies he had approached spoke of difficulties in their cash flows while others committed themselves to January 2016 when their new financial year begin.
Despite the January promises, Mwale said the needed amount was not being met but hoped more companies would come on board to realise the budget.
So far, Konkola Copper Mines and Mopani Copper Mines have told Government they have no money to spend on the expatriate coach.
Zesco Limited have committed $6, 000 a month towards the coach’s salary with other firms offering accommodation.
Mwale said finding money for a local coach would be a lot easier and urged FAZ to inform Government once they make a decision.