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Date: 20 April 2019

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Zambia in AFCON finals, fires Bonetti

[Posted 11 Oct 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Zambia in AFCON finals, fires Bonetti

Zambia strangely celebrated its qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations finals, a development confirmed by a 0-0 home draw against Libya, by firing the coach who guided the team to qualification, Italian born trainer Dario Bonetti.

Bonetti was viewed by various sections in Zambia as not being the ideal man to guide Chipolopolo at the finals or as the kind of a coach who the association enviages to take the team to the lofty heights Zambia used to be during the playing days of current Football Association of Zambia President Kalusha Bwalya.

So consumed are the Zambians about their vision and mission with regards to their biggest brand, Chipolopolo that plans were afoot to replace Bonetti even before the final qualifier against Libya last Saturday.

“Coach Dario Bonetti has been removed as national team coach by mutual consent following a meeting this afternoon (Monday 10th October) with FAZ President Kalusha Bwalya.

The Chipolopolo technical team to lead the Zambia National Soccer Team into the 2012 Nations Cup finals will be announced soon after all the consultations with various stakeholders are concluded,” a statement from Communications Manager at FAZ Erick Mwanza read. 

FAZ has indicated that a replacement for the departed Italian will be announced after consultations with relevant stakeholders in the game in the Southern African nation.

To his credit, the Italian coach remained calm after the FAZ announcement and reacted with maturity.

 "It's ussual for us as coaches,sometimes, the result is not enough.I haven't a motivation why they took the decision.We'll see what happens in the next couple of days.

"I'm happy and our record in the last 15 games speaks for itself ,one of the best in Africa.I enjoyed working with this team.We contributed positively and We have worked very well. Nobody can discount this.

" I feel very happy because We worked with very good players and the staff. I want to stay happy and leave with fond memories of my time here.I hope we can close the contract properly," is all Bonetti could say.

Surely if Bonetti has not enhanced his CV with such a kind of response to sad news, then nothing should win anyone a job.

Maybe one fact that the Zambians should admit is that their current crop of players is nothing compared to the likes Bwalya, Charles Musonda, Derby Mankinka and the other players who perished in that awful plane crash on the Congo coast.

The problem of African FAs sometimes is that they expect the coach to performa miracles, without putting in place measures to build strong teams, beginning with focus on junior policy.

That Zambia has abundant talent is not in doubt. But to argue or suggest that the current crop of players in the Chipolopolo team can lift the AFCON  Cup even with Bonetti gone is to overstate the true and real facts on the ground.




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