Planning, player determination key to Zambia’s KK Eleven First World Cup, prods Emmanuel Munaile
By Derrick Sinjela, Ashton Kelly Bunda and Saeed Simon Banda
FORMER Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) vice president Emmanuel Munaile has advised Zambian coaches and players at every level of the local leagues to start planning for a maiden World Cup Qualification early if they wish to set foot at envied World Cup 2026 Tunisia finals for the first time.
Asked by ‘The Bundas incorporated Blog Sports News’, as to why Zambia National Team, which has one of the best pedigree of players in the world and a rich soccer back ground of having reached Africa Cup finals in 1974 and 1994 and finally won a maiden cup of nations in 2012, has ‘never set foot’ to the world cup finals,” an optimistic Munaile responded that the Zambian football fraternity need a determined cadre of players and consistent coaching staff that have skill and knowledge of blending and creating chemistry among players.
The former Nkana Football Club forward said current national team coaches and club coaches must meet to plan four (4) years before the prestigious world cup qualification games begin to prepare the transition period by identify upcoming players that will be blended with experienced players.
He said the theme for the early campaign of setting foot to the world cup is ‘Stability, Dedication and Discipline,’ among the coaching staff who must be observant
“We have never been to world cup, let us start campaigning now for the 2026 world cup that will be hosted by fellow African nation, Tunisia and our forefathers will be happy with our achievements and making the Zambian soccer history complete since we are one of the super powers of soccer in Africa,we can change as many coaches as we can , but the key is with players on the ground , we determined crop of individual players who really want to make it in life , players that wish to break the legendary Kalusha Bwalya record, Ucar Godfrey Chitalu,beat Christopher Katongo’s record and the Emmanuel Munaile achievements as a player,” the former FAZ vice president stressed.
Munaile explained that the STABILITY: in theme for early campaign to the world cup qualification for the first time stands for being stable in the coaching staff, consistence, football tutors who know their players well , their strength and weakness, DEDICATION :stands for dedicated individual players who can take things personal in the midst of team work to achieve a goal in a particular game and the future, DISCIPLINE stands for disciplined bunch of players on and off the playing pitch as well as disciplined coaching staff that will instill winning principals in players.
“Taking a look back in the recent history in the year 2003 the copper bullets failed to qualify to Africa cup of nations ,in 2010 they failed to reach the group stages in the 2012 the Chipolopolo had a crop of determined crop of players that were hungry for success and lifted the Africa cup, we need a team of coaching staff led by a thick skinned leading manager that will focus on qualifying to both 2026 and 2030 world cup finals,”Munaile explained.
He said Zambian soccer tutors, administrators, media houses ,individual journalists and soccer analysts should observe the transition period as current players in lime light mature , while others become experienced senior athletes.
Munaile mentioned players like Patson Daka who plies his trade for Leicester football club in England, national team captain Enock Mwepu from Brighton Hove Albion Football Club, Edward Chilufya from Midjtland football club Denmark ,Emmanuel Banda Djurgardens Sweden ,Lameck Banda Lecce Serie( A) Italy ,Fashion Sakala Scotland Glasgow Rangers among them will be experienced and senior players by 2026 going into 2030 world cup qualifications and must be blended with other upcoming players who are working hard now to make it in future.
Zambia then called the KK11 (eleven) reached the finals of the 1974 Africa cup of nations in the historical two legged thrilling final which Zambia and then Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo)attracted the whole world and the boxing fraternity in the United States of America (USA) made the game a determinant factor to which the winning nation of the final would host the epic fight between American fighters Muhammad Ali and his bitter rival Joe Frazier ,Zaire beat Zambia 2-1.
In 1994 Zambia reached the finals in Nigeria, Kalusha Bwalya captain of the side and the two Malitoli brothers Kenneth and Modon played and 1996 Zambia competed for the 3rd and 4th place in South Africa,and finally 2012 they lifted the cup in Gabon.
In the African Nations Championship(CHAN) a tournament strictly for local players sponsored by Total Energy was founded in 2009 which initially hosted by Ivory Coast the times champions Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) beat Ghana 2-0 on 8th March after meeting in the group stages in which Ghana beat DRC 3-0.
In the inaugural CHAN tournament 2009 Zambia then beat Senegal 2-1 to get bronze the 3rd position ,Morocco has won CHAN twice in 2018 and2020, and Tunisia won CHAN in their first participation with local coach Sami Trabelsi in 2014 after beating Angola 3-0.
Angola which has been in civil war from 1975 to the 2001, for about 26 year war has managed to qualify to the world’s prestigious soccer piece show which was held Germany in 2006 and has tasted the waters of the huge tournament so far the they were knocked out by Mexicans, Angola’s goal was scored by Flavio.