By NDINAWE SIMPELWE and SANDRA MWILA -
A JOVIAL Frenchman Sébastien Desabre yesterday arrived in Zambia to become the first trainer to attend interviews today for the vacant Chipolopolo coaching job.
The 36-year-old Desabre arrived at Kenneth Kaunda International airport (KKIA) around 15:00 hours aboard an Emirates airliner and turned down a media interview, saying he was still under a contract.
The Frenchman was received by a Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) driver and a Government security official, Gerald Silwamba, and was immediately whisked away in a black Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) car.
He was, however, polite enough to have a chat with a Times crew though he declined to give an interview.
Desabre only confirmed he was in Zambia for coaching interviews and that he would not state more because he had a running contract with Algerian side Jeunesse Sportive Saura.
“I really can’t give an interview, sorry. Hope you understand because I have a contract with an Algerian club. Maybe after two days,” he responded in fluent English.
Desabre will be the first of the five prospective coaches that FAZ will be interviewed for the Chipolopolo coaching job to take over the position left vacant by Hervé Renard three years ago.
Meanwhile, Chipolopolo interim coach George Lwandamina has named four debutants in the 28-man provisional team of local players for next month’s return leg of the Group E Africa Cup qualifier against Kenya.
Leading the debutants is inspirational Zanaco captain Ziyo Tembo, whose call-up has been long overdue owing to his consistent top performance for the league leaders.
Tembo, who is undoubtedly a strong contender for Zambian Player-of-the-Season, has been impressive for the ‘bankers’ where his leadership has seen Zanaco concede only six goals in 19 matches and has scored five goals in the league.
Others who have received their first call-up include strikers Justin Shonga of Nkwazi, who has six goals during this campaign, Josephat Kasusu from Kabwe Warriors, also on six goals, and Green Buffaloes defender Mweene Mumbi.
Lwandamina has recalled defender Christopher Munthali, who was sidelined from the national team after his suspension from football due to disciplinary issues.
Kondwani Mtonga also makes a comeback, just like Rodrick Kabwe while youngsters Boyd Mkandawire and Patson Daka have been dropped.
Acting team manager Stanley Kaseko, who released the list yesterday, said the team was scheduled to go into camp this Sunday in Ndola for a four-day training programme.
Goalkeepers: Jacob Banda (Zesco United), Danny Munyao (Red Arrows), Racha Kola (Zanaco).
Defenders: Emmanuel Museka (Lusaka Tigers), Simon Silwimba (Zesco United), Buchizya Mfune (Green Buffaloes), Adrian Chama (Green Buffaloes), Mweene Mumbi (Green Buffaloes), Ziyo Tembo (Zanaco), Christopher Munthali (Nkana), Fackson Kapumbu (Zanaco).
Midfielders: Benson Sakala (Power Dynamos), Paul Katema (Red Arrows), Spencer Sautu (Green Eagles), Mwelwa Mwape (Zesco United), Kondwani Mtonga (Zesco United), Richard Kasonde (Zanaco), Chota Chama Clatous (Zesco United), Misheck Chaila (Zesco United), John Ching’andu (Zesco United), Rodrick Kabwe (Zanaco), and Charles Zulu (Zanaco).
Strikers: Christopher Katongo (Green Buffaloes), Jackson Mwanza (Zesco United), Fashion Sakala (Zanaco), Justin Shonga (Nkwazi), and Josephat Kasusu (Kabwe Warriors).