Zambia Sports minister Moses Mawere says qualifying to the 2018 World Cup is the only hope for football in the country.
Speaking to journalists at his office, Mawere said there were high expectations from football fans.
He advised Chipolopolo to step up their game and beat Nigeria in the opening Group B qualifier to be played at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium next weekend.
“The country’s expectation is high, the only hope is the World Cup after failing to qualify to the Africa Cup of Nations. I challenge the players and coaches to step up and perform better. We need to beat Nigeria, we can do it,” Mawere told the postzambia.
And Mawere said it was up to FAZ to convince the government that the national team needed an expatriate coach.
“The engagement of the coach is not ours, it is up to the FAZ. Let them convince us that yes we need an expatriate coach or we can do with a local coach. Ours is just to support them,” said Mawere.
FAZ are seeking to engage an expatriate coach to lead Chipolopolo during the World Cup qualifying campaign, but said they were awaiting a go-ahead from the government who provide resources to the team.
In the interim, Chipolopolo will be guided by Wedson Nyirenda.