Is Zanaco FC truly big, strong and reliable to avoid demotion?


‘SENSATIONAL’ Zanaco FC, who are on 15th position on the FAZ/MTN Super League table, with 34 points, need five points to avoid demotion to the national division one league.

Five matches remain before the Super League closes at week 34.

On Monday, April 10, 2023, Zanaco FC management pressed the panic button and brought in experienced Wedson Nyirenda to coach, in jump-starting fashion, the seven time champions.

Nyirenda replaced Kelvin Kaindu, who was the coach at the Zambia National Commercial (Zanaco) Bank-sponsored team, since August 1, 2021.

Kaindu was not chased alone; consultant coach Emmanuel Amunike and assistant consultant coach Emeka Amadi, all Nigerians, were jettisoned.

The Nigerian duo was hired in September 2022.

The statement confirming hiring and firing of the named coaches was signed by Zanaco FC chief executive officer Modest Hamalabbi.

In recent years, Zanaco FC has emerged to be a side too strong, such that it has been representing Zambia either in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League or the Confederations Cup.

With his first game in charge yesterday, Nyirenda’s Zanaco FC lost 2 – 3 to a potent-looking Zesco United at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

Next weekend, Zanaco hosts Solwezi’s Kansanshi Dynamos at its once-upon-a-time stronghold, Sunset Stadium, just outside the Lusaka Showgrounds area.

Nyirenda cannot wait to win the remaining matches and save Zanaco FC, that is as old as 45 years, from sinking into a mediocrity pool of football.

Zanaco Bank, the sponsors of the team, prides itself with a succinct motto of big, strong and reliable.

Yet here we are; ‘The Bankers’ are clutching on a stroll; with players that inspire little hope, at least going by yesterday’s inert display.

But who knows! Zanaco FC players probably want to show their supporters and the country at large how they have big, strong and reliable football prowess, that will make them last matches of the season.

Let us wait and see, while Zanaco FC fanatics sing the usual anthem of: “we are all Zanaco one waibala bwanji, we are all Zanaco one!”

Kalemba April 16, 2023


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