COACH Fighton Simukonda has been sacked after Zambia’s disastrous outing to the ongoing CAF 2015 Under-23 African Cup of Nations finals in Senegal.
Impeccable sources revealed to the Times yesterday that Simukonda would no longer drill the Under-23 team and had equally been dropped as Chipolopolo assistant coach to George ‘Chicken’ Lwandamina.
“Simukonda has been sacked. It is suicidal to continue with him. It is unacceptable to lose all three games at such a competition when our aim was to go to the Olympic Games,” the source said.
Zambia failed to win a single match after losing three of its group matches following a 2-1 defeat to Tunisia that was followed by a 3-2 thumping against South Africa, before wrapping up the campaign with a 1-0 loss to the hosts Senegal.
The source added that the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) executive committee found it unacceptable for the team to lose to South Africa when it had about eight players that were part of the Chipolopolo that beat Sudan in a Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier and beat Kenya in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
“It is just so obvious that FAZ can’t continue with Simukonda who had a team comprising about eight (Chipolopolo) players that beat Sudan and Kenya can’t lose to South Africa.
“Even at the national team I doubt his stay because if he can fail at Under-23 level what value can he add to the national team?” the source said.
Meanwhile, Chipolopolo winger Lubambo Musonda has urged the players to work hard to reap the desired results at the Rwanda 2016 African Nation Championship (CHAN) which kicks off next month.
Lubambo said in an interview that the CHAN tournament was a high-profile competition that would demand for hard work if Zambia was to win the elusive title.
“The CHAN competition demands hard work and the players should put in more effort to reach the finals. The local team has good players who can deliver in Rwanda,” Lubambo said.
The Armenia-based midfielder, who was part of the Under-23 team in Senegal, said lessons were learnt during the tournament that would help the players that would make it in the CHAN squad.
He urged his fellow players not to despair after the humiliating defeats in Senegal but to work hard in future assignments.
Lubambo said the Under-23 team did not put in their best during the tournament in Senegal, hence their first round elimination.
“All I can say to my fellow players is to urge them not to despair after the disappointing outing in Senegal. We did not put in our best in the first two games, we delayed to catch up and by the time we were settling in, we were already out,” Lubambo said.