By Frank Lupupa
THE government says it is ready to approve Wedson Nyirenda’s contract once FAZ makes it available.
FAZ is believed to have proposed a three-year contract for Nyirenda who is currently working as interim Chipolopolo coach.
Nyirenda replaced George Lwandamina who was sacked after failing to qualify Zambia to next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Initially, FAZ was lining up an expatriate coach but President Edgar Lungu asked the association to employ a local coach after watching Zambia put up a dominant second half display against Nigeria in an unfortunate 2-1 home loss in the opening Group B World Cup qualifier and the 1-1 draw away to Cameroon.
But when asked how long Nyirenda would wait to sign a permanent deal considering that former local coaches Honour Janza and Lwandamina worked without contracts for lengthy periods until they were fired, sports minister Moses Mawere said he had not yet seen the contract from FAZ but respected the autonomy of the football association in selecting a national coach.
“We are more than ready to consent to his contract, he is a very good coach. He has done more in the short time he has been with the team but I haven’t seen that contract myself and we respect the autonomy of FAZ so they have procedures. But once they bring it, we ‘ll work on it,” said Mawere.
“We are comfortable with him, that’s why even the President said we need to employ a local coach than a foreigner because we also don’t want to empower outsiders, to take money out of the country, so we will employ him. We are comfortable with him.”
Nyirenda has also been appointed to oversee operations of all junior teams in a bid to strengthen technical input especially at the Under-20 who are preparing for the Africa Cup tournament that Zambia will host next February.