Skip­per Kal­aba ‘should know bet­ter’

African Independent - - SPORT - THOMAS KWENAITE

ZAM­BIA coach Wed­son Nyirenda has promised to bring out the big stick and deal harshly with his trusted skip­per Rain­ford Kal­aba for his ill dis­ci­pline which the gaffer fears could lead to a loss of the con­trol of the dress­in­groom.

Kal­aba, who also cap­tains crack DR Congo side TP Mazembe, is ac­cused of show­ing dis­sent in front of the pub­lic when Chipolopolo sur­pris­ingly lost 1-0 to Mozam­bique in a 2019 Africa Cup of Na­tions qual­i­fier at home in June.

Kal­aba was with­drawn for Given Sin­gu­luma mid­way through the sec­ond half and in­stead of watch­ing the rest of the game on the bench with his col­leagues, the skip­per shuf­fled his way straight to the dress­ing rooms to shower.

That clearly did not go down well with the coach, who felt his cap­tain dis­re­spected him, his col­leagues and the coun­try, and he promised to sanc­tion the in­flu­en­tial play­maker, who was clearly off the boil on the day.

“I am aware that foot­ball is an emo­tional game,” ad­mit­ted Nyirenda. “But Kal­aba is a se­nior player and cap­tain of the team for that mat­ter and I was not amused by his be­hav­iour on that day,” said the former Kaizer Chiefs striker.

“I will def­i­nitely dis­ci­pline Kal­aba. We are run­ning an in­sti­tu­tion and dis­ci­pline is non-ne­go­tiable, es­pe­cially from some­one who should know bet­ter.”

Nyirenda said he treated his play­ers equally but took a dim view of play­ers who con­sider them­selves big­ger than the team, and he can­not treat some harshly and other with kid gloves if he is to main­tain a tight reign.

What has prompted Nyirenda to take puni­tive ac­tion against Kal­aba is the fact that an­other player, Adrian Chama, also walked off the pitch and straight to the dress­ing rooms af­ter be­ing sub­sti­tuted in a CHAN qual­i­fier against Swazi­land.

“He (Chama) apol­o­gised af­ter the game,” said Nyirenda. “He did not know that what he did was wrong. He is a child. I asked him a ques­tion, who am I not to for­give? I have wronged peo­ple, I have made mis­takes, and peo­ple have for­given me.

“I see tal­ent in him (Chama) which I can­not al­low to go to waste. I don’t want to be the coach who will con­trib­ute to his down­fall. We will sit him down about direction in foot­ball and guide him prop­erly”

Un­less Kal­aba also apol­o­gises to the coach and his col­leagues, it ap­pears Nyirenda will crack the whip on the vet­eran skip­per to en­sure he does not have a toxic in­flu­ence on the younger play­ers.

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