Spaniard Eyes Top Chipolopolo Job

Roberto López Ufarte (r) with Àndreas Iniesta
A SPANISH coach Roberto López Ufarte has expressed interest in the vacant Zambia national soccer team coaching job.

Impeccable sources have confirmed that the 61-year old former Spain national team attacking midfielder, López Ufarte is among the over 10 foreign coaches that have applied for the Chipolopolo job.

The Chipolopolo job fell vacant after Belgian Sven Vandenbroeck’s contract expired on March 31, 2019 and FAZ decided not to renew it following his failure to meet the target of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification.

Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) immediately announced the hunt for Vandenbroeck’s replacement and has pegged the monthly salary at K120, 000.

López Ufarte nicknamed ‘Le petit diable’ (little devil) has a UEFA Pro licence. He worked as assistant to John Toshack at Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca in 2014/2015 season before he was elevated to head coach the following season.

He has also served as a youth coach at Real Sociedad club for close to 12 years. As a player López Ufarte, boasts of winning four major titles including two La Liga championships with Real Sociedad in 1980/81 and 1981/82 seasons as a player. He also played for Betis and Atlético Madrid. He hung his boots at the age of 31 due to a knee injury.

FAZ president Andrew Kamanga emphasised that the soccer body will give the Zambians a top notch coach as its priority is to qualify Zambia to the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

“We shall hire a quality coach that money can afford. I understand that most coaches ask for more than US$10, 000 being offered by government and this is the more reason we are looking at the Chipolopolo bonds as a way of increasing our revenue,” he said.

Others tipped to have expressed interest in the coaching job include Belgian Georges Leekens and Brazillian Roberto do Carmo.

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