By BENNIE MUNDANDO
FOOTBALL clubs must stop giving frivolous ultimatums and firing coaches when teams fail to win matches because poor administration also contributes to poor results, a FAZ councillor has said.
Damiano Mutale, the proprietor of Damiano Academy Football Club in Mufulira yesterday told the Nations Sports that Zambia had failed to produce coaches capable of leading national teams to glory because most coaches at club level were being exploited.
Mutale said it was ridiculous for any football administrator to give an ultimatum to a coach when their teams fail to perform without getting to the bottom of the matter. He said most local coaches were living in fear of losing their jobs because of poor football administrators.
“We have failed to produce quality coaches due to lack of consistency among local coaches as they are simply at the mercy of those in club management who always threaten them with dismissals each time the team loses matches.
“Most Zambian coaches have no influence on which players the club must acquire and this is why we have an influx of foreign players who are just warming the bench in Zambia because they were acquired without the coach’s consent. We have a situation where one club has 15 foreign players and only two are playing,” Mutale said.
He said there was need for local coaches to be protected from victimisation.
“It is a shame that coaches always take the blame when teams falter. We now have a situation where some coaches who performed exceptionally well last season are either on ultimatums or threatened with dismissals, just eight games into the league.
“It is hypocrisy of the greatest order for club management to fire coaches yet even if they are given to coach the same teams with the junk of players they bought, they can’t win matches. Coaches are not magicians who you expect to get results from useless players imposed on them,” he said.
Mutale urged Zambian coaches to sign full contracts where if they were victimised within the course of the agreement, they could be protected.
“Club management don’t care whether you have a family to feed or not but if you have a full contract with clear terms of reference, you cannot be fired after five games. Let us bring sanity in our league. Coaches must be signing full contracts which will protect them.
“Our league is one of the best in Africa hence the need to do away with some of the bad habits that bring our beautiful league into disrepute. FAZ must intervene and ensure that coaches are protected,” Mutale said.