By Kayode Ogundare in Accra:
The Zambia national team have been left frustrated by a lack of government funding which aborted the proposed tour of Europe for a training camp ahead of the crucial 2018 World Cup Qualifier against the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga confirmed the development to Zambian media in an interview.
“No, we are not going to Spain, we will just go to West Africa on Sunday, I think Ghana where conditions are almost the same, plus it only takes 45 minutes to fly [from Ghana] into Nigeria. I think we will manage to prepare well,”
However, unnamed Zambia Times’ sources say the team felt frustrated by the failed European camp as it has altered the coaches’ plans.
“The plan was to do like the Under-20 did prior to the Africa Cup and the World Cup. You saw how that camping helped the boys. Now in this [senior] team we have a lot of local players who needed to be fine-tuned in those two weeks so that by the time the professionals join in, they move at the same pace…as you know Nigeria is a very competitive side, no local players. But hands are tied since government funds the national team,” said the sources.
Subsequently, rather than head for Spain, coach Wedson Nyirenda named a mix of domestic league players and a sprinkle of foreign-based on Friday and they left Lusaka for Accra on Sunday morning.
The last but one Group B match in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital next Saturday will likely determine the winner of the sole ticket from the group.