Chipolopolo coach Herve Renard is set to join South Africa topside Orlando Pirates if Zambia fails to beat Ghana on Friday, sources close to the two parties have disclosed, according to bolazambia.com.
Renard has told close associates talks between the two parties were underway and that the result in Kumasi in a Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier was crucial to determining progress on the issue.
The Frenchman has not hidden his farewell message after hinting last week that the African Nations Championship (CHAN) defeat against Zimbabwe subsquently eliminating Zambia for the 2014 edition could have been his last at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
“If Zambia lose, Renard is out. He may stay for the knockout if the team makes it but he has already told people to start counting him out,” the source said.
In South Africa, sources at Pirates have said the Frenchman has engaged people to represent his discussion with one of the top clubs in the Premier Soccer League and so far, things look bright for both parties.
But Pirates spokesperson Mickey Modise in an interview with bolazambia this morning that issues of negotiations were never discussed until they were concluded.
“Issues of talks between the club, players and officials are not discussed before conclusion. When we agree about the terms, that is when we can talk to the media,” he said.
Asked if Pirates and Renard had so far discussed anything, Modise claimed; “No, I don’t know that name. I don’t know whether he exists or not. That’s my comment.”
But bolazambia sources have insisted that Renard and Pirates have reached an advanced stage in their discussion and that the Frenchman was sometimes frustrated with comments made by officials like sports minister Chishimba Kambwili.
Renard has not been happy with Kambwili’s comments from the time Zambia was embarrassingly eliminated from the 2013 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations and that it explains why the otherwise media friendly coach has shied away from interviews to avoid publicly hitting back.
Their frosty relationship hit the backroom spotlight after Zambia was eliminated by Zimbabwe with Kambwili storming the dressing to bullock the players and singled out Nkana striker Festus Mbewe.
Apparently, Renard was infuriated and defended the players telling Kambwili to heap the blame on him as coach and not the players.
Several efforts to get Renard’s comment since the incident have proved futile as his mobile phone has gone unanswered. Similar attempts to get Kambwili’s comment were made this morning but he too did not pick his line.
Chipolopolo are scheduled to leave for Ghana today on a chartered flight for the crunch fixture on Friday night in Kumasi.