The Ministry of Youth and Sport has created a position of sporting director to be occupied by former FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya but with terms of reference similar to that of head coach of the national team or a technical director.
Minister of Sport Elvis Nkandu on Tuesday met Bwalya and FAZ president Andrew Kamanga at his office in Lusaka to table the matter in the company of Israeli player agent Nir Karin and permanent secretary Kangwa Chileshe.
According to ministry sources, Kamanga said he did not have a problem working with his predecessor but that he “doesn’t make decisions alone without the involvement of the whole FAZ executive committee.”
“Also we are not sure how it will work considering that the minister did not consult FAZ prior to the meeting and did an ambush on them. And then the terms of reference do not make sense because FAZ has employed the Croatian Aljosa Asanovic to take over from Beston Chambeshi on a permanent basis but will be like he will just be there to rubber stamp what Kalusha wants,” the ministry source said.
“And you know that is a recipe for anarchy between the head coach and the new position, so there is need for clarity. And what will be his boundaries because you can’t be everything, again all in all that is what is obtaining on the ground, what we are getting from FAZ is that all they are asking the minister the minister to clarify on the terms of reference and other administrative issues especially that there is already a long existing memorandum of understanding between the ministry and FAZ.”
And according to the terms of reference seen by The Mast, the sporting director is supposed to, among other things, impart the philosophy and style of play to be adopted by all national teams.
“…The sporting director will discuss the style of play with the team’s coach. The youth teams will follow the same style of play to make things uniform from top to bottom and bottom to top,” read part of the terms.
“The sports director is responsible for the football overall philosophy beginning with the youth team all the way up to the first national team. The sports director will attend training sessions and all National Team games. (COVID 19 permitting) He will travel and spend much time around the players, and will become a common face around the dressing room.”
The sports director is further expected to work hand in hand with the association president to identify success targets, coaches, discuss budgets, call up ad drop players and negotiate players’ remuneration and bonusses.
After the minister’s meeting with Kamanga and Bwalya, FAZ held an emergency executive meeting at which it was resolved that a meeting be held with the minister.
“We acknowledge receipt of the proposed terms of reference for the proposed position of sporting director expected to be occupied by Mr Kalusha Bwalya. An urgent executive committee meeting was called today to deliberate over the terms of reference,” read the response from FAZ secretariat addressed to Chileshe dated December 14, 2021.
“However, the terms of reference were inadequate and need further clarifications in view of the existing MOU with the ministry. We, therefore, seek your indulgence to enable the entire FAZ executive committee have audience with the honourable minister in relation to the sporting director…”
When contacted for clarification whether the existing position of director of sport at the ministry would be abolished, by press time Chileshe did not respond to the questions sent to him through WhatsApp even when it was visible that he read the message.