SPORTS Minister Vincent Mwale has said it is time the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) and other African football associations began to put trust in local trainers to drill national teams instead of always running to overpay expatriate coaches.
Mwale said the Government was struggling to raise huge sums of money to pay one person, especially with the private sector seemingly unwilling to join on paying the expatriate coach’s salary.
The minister said this yesterday when he opened the Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region Five Coaches Conference at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka.
Making his actual feelings known for the first time about calls to employ an expatriate coach, Mwale said US$25,000 was a lot of money to be given to one person every month.
He insisted that there would be no money coming from the Government treasury to pay the next expatriate coach for Zambia but that he would continue looking for the money.
Mwale said the Zambian Government had a lot of competing needs for the same money in the state kitty like infrastructure developments being undertaken in building hospitals, roads and schools among others.
“Government has previously been paying expatriate coaches but there are several other competing national developmental issues. Talk of $25,000 is actually an understatement because here in Zambia, it’s a shame that previously we used to pay up to $75,000 to one coach.
We should not always expect an expatriate coach from outside to always come and take over our sports. We should strive to get locals to coach national team. Look at Pitso Mosimane who is doing well and several African countries with locals, we need to go that way,” he said.
Mwale said that should the money not be found to pay an expatriate coach, FAZ will have to do with what it has but was quick to state that he would continue lobbying for the money.
He said that once a local coach is engaged, a lot of savings will be made and that difference can be used to help in the development of not just football but other sporting disciplines.
Mwale said that one benefit that could come out of this problem of raising money for an expatriate is that it will open up the local administrators to realise where Zambia is and lacking in terms of getting local coaches to a top level.
He admitted that it was unfair that so much money was given to one sporting discipline when other disciplines cannot get a workshop and that his ministry was determined to start spreading the money a bit more.
He also made special mention of former Chipolopolo coach Honour Janza, who is attending the course, that he was one person with a lot of experience having sat on the bench when Zambia won the Africa Cup in 2012.
“It’s time we started investing in local coaches because it’s more sustainable,” he said.
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