Zambia coach Avram Grant has partly blamed the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) for the team’s poor performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.
The Chipolopolo’ journey at the tournament ended in the group stages after drawing 1-1 against DR Congo and Tanzania before falling 1-0 to Morocco. In an interview with Israeli publication ONE, the former Chelsea coach said poor pre-tournament preparations should be blamed for the exit.
“They made us 30-hour flights with 9-hour connections. One flight had four stops in the middle. As a result, we lost 11 training units and another two training games,” said Grant, adding: “I’m not afraid to say that they’ll say I’m making excuses, I’m telling about objective reasons that I’ve never come across.”
The 68-year-old continued: “It is not only that the players are inexperienced; the entire management of the association in Zambia is inexperienced, one that is not from football at all and has never been to the African Championship.
“The first time they understood what they were doing was when we played against Cameroon, where Samuel Eto’o is the chairman of the association and he explained to them the conditions, how many practice matches they played, how many training sessions they did and that they flew a direct flight from Dubai compared to us. It was very difficult to deal with the conditions and I think we did it overall well.”
- Additional report Bola News.