VANDENBROECK CLARIFIES “NOT A FOOTBALLING NATION” REMARKS AFTER CHIPOLOPOLO STINT
Belgian trainer Sven Vandenbroeck has revisited his controversial statement about Zambia not being a footballing nation, saying that the comment was taken out of context.
The coach, who faced a tumultuous exit marked by disputes with then Football House General Secretary Adrian Kashala, now claims his comments were taken out of context.
Vandenbroeck, whose tenure with the Chipolopolo ended in March 2019, was characterized by one win, a draw, and two losses in his first five games, with the only other victory being a 1-0 away friendly against Gabon.
During his stint, he faced criticism for suggesting Zambia was not a footballing nation, particularly in the context of the team’s failure to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
However, in a recent interview with ZNBC’s Matimba Nkonje, Vandenbroeck sought to provide clarification.
He explained, “What I meant is that, of course, everyone plays football and everyone likes football in Zambia, but if you compare Zambia to Egypt or Cameroon, you don’t have these historical stats that you can compare with these kinds of countries.”
Vandenbroeck emphasized that during his coaching tenure, Zambia was in a period of decline following their AfCON victory in 2012.
He asserted that, at that moment, it was unrealistic to expect the team to qualify for or win tournaments, given the challenges they were facing.
In the same interview, the former Chipolopolo coach expressed admiration for the current Zambian national team’s performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.
He commended their return to the big stage after a considerable hiatus, acknowledging the difficulty of their group, which included strong teams like Congo and Morocco.
Photo Credit: Zamfoot