Opinion: Nigeria Vs Zambia – Where Was Rainford Kalaba?

By Joe Mwansa Lombe Kaluba

I have written in most of my articles and posts that everything nowadays is anchored on politics.

Sport, religion, culture or anything to do with social development programs is politically influenced.

This for me has a lot of issues attributed to it. Good and bad alike, the question is what can we learn from this? That is if we can.

You will agree with me that sports disciplines like football are now run by people who are influenced by politics. In my opinion it is an animal farm affair. Look at how FIFA works and how they run their rankings. Purely political.

Having said that. I want to talk about the Nigeria -Zambia game. Before, during and after the game and where we go from here.

First things first. I am really sure that Mr Andrew Kamanga and his team at Football Association of Zambia are working very hard to improve the game of football in our nation. That’s why in their first term in office they have brought or rather helped us win the U20 COSAFA Cup, U20 African Cup of Nations and qualifications to the CHAN Championship among other achievements.

This is good work. But we have achieved most of those things with previous administrators. People wanted a World Cup qualification. For me that was a standard l put for Kamanga. Hence regardless of what happened and what did not. FAZ and the technical bench have failed us.

Too much politicking, pride and arrogance has failed us. The game against Nigeria was a game changer where qualification for Russia was concerned.

In my opinion the exclusion of senior players was a very big mistake by coach Wada Nyirenda. Big boys know how to handle big games like the one we had with the Super Eagles. Experience counts. Kalaba, Tembo, Mbesuma, Kalengo among others would have used their experience to deal with the likes of Moses. Even that goal we are crying about. They would have known how to respond.

Our young stars played standard football not one that would show a team going for a win. The likes of Fashion and Mwepu are good yes. But let’s face it they are still infants at senior level. So whatever beef happened between Wada or FAZ and people like Rainford and Winston was handled with immaturity by those in power. Football politics at play.

I am a Liverpool supporter and my team is very bad at the back because of one thing. The defense which was getting strong because of the help of Mamadu Sakho. But because of the misunderstanding during pre season training between Liverpool manager Klopp and Sakho. Our defense is like a big net with holes. Mamadu was cast out through a loan and later a sell. Pride and arrogance at play.

I am sure the Liverpool backroom stuff is regretting like Wada and FAZ is. To much politicking and pride.

And talking about politics what the hell in the world of football was that big banner of President Lungu doing in Nigeria. We all love our President but that banner was misplaced.

The Zambia National Team that went to West Africa belongs to all Zambians not only President Lungu. As l said we love our President but as a player that is the last thing l would think about.

I expected to see a banner of solidarity for Kalaba and Kalengo. Even one with the name and face of Kalusha Bwalya would have scared the hell out of some of those Nigerian players. Not that of ba Lungu. That too might have cost us the game. Maybe l didn’t vote for President Lungu then l see that banner as a player. I can be like really!!!

I know I said everything is anchored on politics but some things are just a distraction. And that banner was. Look at our friend’s banner. No Cadralism.

My advice to everyone involved let us all focus on blending the team. Old and new alike. Those with ideas let’s engage those in power. Those in power let’s be approachable. And more importantly let’s leave cadre centered supporting out of football.

Mr Kamanga as l said I will be visiting you soon.

Author is a PhD candidate in Political, Gender and Transnational Studies at Goethe University Frankfurt am.

NOTE: The views expressed in the article are that of the author and do not represent anyone else but himself.


  1. Bwalya banda

    I need zambia work hard beacuse worid cup is very hard please i borrow don’t fun play foobtall………

  2. patrick

    Wada was advised way before the game. We all cried for the likes of Kalaba, Tempo, Nathan especially that he even knew that most of his key players had injuries and surprisingly went ahead to use a player who ha recieved bad funeral news of his demised child. I guess he did this in panic and out of his mond because he did not have players to use.

  3. IAN


  4. paul

    Yes we want kalaba cos fashion and mwepu are good players but mwana ni mwana bwana wada wada please here us please!!!!

  5. General

    Pa zed kuwayafye. I dont think football in Zambia Will be improved Too much corruption I termsof prayers selection

    • honest

      It has happen lets not pointing one another our time will come,good Lucky guys

  6. ALICK Zulu

    Unity in the team is important some players have become big headed. Let’s build on this team I’m telling you we will be a force to reckon with during the next afcon. Mwepu is a great player

  7. Morris

    Pliz dat game was 4 old players not under 20 we want dat Lyn up for 2012 ba Zambia work on it pliz

    • Charlie Booster

      Old players were used at first at our home and we were beaten even though they were called we would have lost it was not just our day.

  8. Ishaa

    The only posibility is to give up using local coaches.

  9. Ishaa

    The only posibility is to stop using local coaches.

  10. Emanuel katongo ak a ek

    Kamanga go to FIFA and complain for that goal which we scored o else Will give u treason.

  11. Chibanja

    The same mbesumas, Kalabas, Winstones that lost the first league and were overrun in every departent except ball boying?

  12. Edgar

    No people..we nid 2 move on.am stil in support of wada leaving these big people.we do not nid them.we hav brian..mwepu..partson..may b and jst may be at some point we would nid sinkala..not these others..its chipolopolo all the way

  13. Blessed

    That’s true my brother, look at Ghana, the team that won the under 20 world cup,they have failed main times because they lucked experience player’s to make them good. We need to reverse our tape.look at obi Mikel.but still playing for country

  14. HH Junior

    I said it even before they went to uyo I don’t know if it is oyo,that we Zambians do change minds especially when things go wrong, the same people who were supporting team full of young players today are saying why did he (wada)left kalaba,sinkala and the other experienced players, when we were saying we need kalaba,sinkala and f Tembo you the same people were saying no !! we young stars who reached under 20 world cup quarter finals, forgetting that victor moses,obi and the others were not there kikikikiki

    • guy lets kp these guy there are on the way to succuss the old players time is long gone remember the old guys lost at home in the first game

      Let kp these guys they are playing well than the kalabs

  15. we knows

    I thnk u shuld visit hm put some sense of human in his brains he thinks less,problem to much pride and power is bad,hw cn they have get immature little kids to face those big eagles,where was kalaba, fwayo, tripple c, and others ####

  16. One D

    So if they won the game, what would you have been crying about????? You were crying for the inclusion of the youngsters, today you are crying for the old folks, what really do you want?
    Elo imwebene, you behave as though mwaliteyapo na bola, aaala!!! malabishi bati!!!!
    We played well it wasn’t just our day probably our chance to the world cup will surely come. Right now let’s concentrate on bringing the afcon back with the current team.

  17. Go Zambia Go

    Mr Author!!! Sir, did you watch the first game Zambia vs Nigeria at Lev? Is it not the some so called big players who can manage big games lost at home? Its the some guys who have failed us. I think your PhD is useless, analyse real issues not this. Where was politics in that classic game they played? If you don’t have any thing to do not ukulatukalifya imitima. Go Zambia Go if this idiot is not with you am hideyou go go go

  18. Kk

    How many times kalaba play has played at World Cup? You like condemning as you can coach. Football of names is far gone. Wake up Zambia don’t live in the past. all those you are are mentioning have never qualified for World Cup, we lost to Nigeria at home in their presence. Last game we played even much better than the first one. Learn to accept and progress in life. For me that’s the best team we have at the moment.

  19. Man

    We Need Two Have Peopke Reliable At Scoring,truly Kalaba And Mbesuma Were Not Supose To Miss

  20. Edgar

    Imwee we r done..the big pipo were outplayed by mozambique remember..lets move on..these young kids ll get experience at some point..young enock mwepu apologized to the nation..did the so called experienced players apologize afta de Mozambique game..no..nobody bothered..we r lookng at players who gets hurt when they loose…wait a gud team z comng…we hv a team bt u pipo want to distroy it…recall when we played Mozambique we shallted for uder 20…theyve come u dont want them…i dont like..knw wat u want in life not jst blaming

  21. hara

    The very guys who were outplayed in every angle at home, are what you are crying for? Make your own team then. Us we Fresh blood.

  22. Ben

    Interesting article and comments, but you guys the same old tired legs of Kalaba, Mbesuma and company lost at home 2-1. Mr PhD candidate, didn’t you watch that match at Levy Mwanawasa stadium in Ndola?

  23. Ray Mulowa

    we lost the game because of Pf thugs who were cheering ECL,how can you win a game the national team is for all zambian if this matter is not ironed out we wil be loosing the games and experience is the good teacher the likes of Mbesuma,sinkala and kalaba we would have wired super eagles by a cricket score line.

  24. abraham muhanga

    Never loose hope ba guy it’s not a corruption bola efyo Yuba no I win na loos

  25. Amagenge

    Zedians – when Zambia beat Algeria without the big boys we all celebrated. Now we have been beaten we suddenly cry for the same people that were beaten by Nigeria.

    All we need is an expatriate coach – a serious one for that. Zambia played the same game from beginning to end. Our Coach is good but he lacks ability to ready the games. How does one play someone who has lost a daughter?

  26. Mulenga Ignatius

    Am among those who were saying its good to use u20 stars coz Kalaba and his friends you are crying for, they played two games home and away of the same WCQ 2018 and corrected just a point out of two games.these people I can not even watch them,these are the west players. They gave Nigeria free points at our home ground and drew in Cameroon made a mountain for the young stars to climb.My appeal is going to coach who used Ngonga instead of Roderick Kabwe he can play well with Fashion sakala go go go go Chipolopolo young stars abakulu kuwayawayafye tabapusene na Ng’onga.

  27. Soccer fan

    FAZ is still silent on Zambia’s wrongly disallowed goal. Ghana has petitioned FIFA on similar incident

  28. Muchemwa

    I respect every person’s opinion bt guys let’s be realistic people don’t accept when team is going through the build-up it requires patience

  29. Samson mwansa

    Fake analysts always surface at such moments. What would kalaba or sinkala done that was not done by fashion and mwepu?grow up and stop condemning the coach. The team we had played better than those indiscipline players you are mentioning. Well done coach,get encouraged. I only missed Patson daka’s solo runs.

    • Bemba man

      You are 100 percent right Samson Mwansa. Too shallow thinking comments.

  30. sande

    Dat is very true my author.Some of us we did nt watch coZ we knew we were going to loose.we advised wada to include kalaba and sinkala.Which player in Zambia can u compare with kalaba.look at de perfomance of Tp Mazembe.when u visit FAZ,let them ask wada to reconcile with kalaba.He hurts kalaba so much thats why he has decided not to call any Mazembe player.He wil remember this wen he is fired.The under 20 ar stil young.

  31. Bemba man

    Any one talking about these old over grown men doesnt read football. Can you compare the home game against nigeria to the away game. We played better in nigeria with the under 20 than those over grown kalaba and friends. Read the game.

  32. Jabbs

    Corruption with football can never workout for football find ba FAZ…how much will we cry for you to pick players on merit..aaaaah chatukapa to tell the truth even the whole FAZ needs a foreign experts to end this mess.we have the material which can deliver to a world standard but why are failing to assemble a good team… We need answers

  33. allanvictormunthali

    We Want Sinkala

  34. Wrong accused

    Well-done guys u done very good work. But coach help us to talk to faz pls,batuciti kisha BA faz tulandilenipo pali goal yesu ilya,elyo napama refary

  35. binto mpashi

    i thank god for giving the day to nigerian team,for foolish zambian to learn a something,this is second time now,remember the U20,the easterner & bemba that was the slogan,today is ba lungu.maybe he was playing the no12

  36. DROGBA

    I’m supporting you Mr. We can’t play against Nigeria with that lineup. Kalaba, Fwayo, Sinkala and Kabaso were needed in that game.. Now, Were where they????

  37. zedoc

    Ask yourself where Kalaba was when Zambia lost the first world cup qualifier by 1-2 to Nigeria in Ndola. Of course, he was part of that team.

  38. Edward

    True Story

  39. Devy

    Congrats to the so called Wada. He has done his part. Time to bring someone else. Zambia not ready for these local coaches.

  40. siame

    The analysis is poor.people have short memories.We played Nigeria last year in the World Cup qualifier. All those players you have mentioned participated. Did we beat Nigeria? The performance of the players you have mentioned was below par,and we ended up losing 2-1 to Nigeria. We performed better with the new players in Nigeria than we did last year in Ndola with your favourite players. There were no politics, and Kamanga is not Kalusha.The problem is that in Africa you want play names instead of looking at the current performance levels.You are talking of players who won the Afcon in 2012 to continue playing, even when they are not fit.Look at Brazil: Almost 90% of players who participated in World Cup 2010 are all gone. Most of those who took part in the 2014 have been dropped to pave way for fresh blood from junior levels.You build a team from junior levels.Bravo Nyirenda,and FAZ.My advice to Mr Kamanga is let’s start preparing for Qarter 2022.

  41. Mbangweta

    You can blame faz, you can blame Andrew but in all fairness on the scale of 10 Wada and Faz would score a 7 out of that 10.
    Great coaches and managers thrive on discipline , we saw that with Sir Alex on players like Keane and Beckham at Man United’. Once they crossed the line they had to go. Moreover, we lost to Nigeria with those Kalabas, mbesumas you are talking about. Change is envitable, experience along without commitment will not do, and there is no one player who is bigger that a club, chitalu, Chola, Chanda ,chilenge, musonda both Emmie and Charles, name them they had to pass on the mantle. It is time some lads let go for the young ones, mwepu, Chilufya, chiluya,Nyondo, Daka,Sakala etc
    Wada is on the right track, bled the young and old. Indisciplined players no matter how good they are , a liability they always are to the team

  42. kapayi

    the idea is to blend the team with both old and new players in time the old will drop out smoothly and having touch the new guys one or two things look at all the big teams in the world the have a mix of old and new yes they lost at home but this was a different game we need a team(supporters, players old and new Coaching staff and Faz)

  43. Chidamb

    What do you people say about that goal which we scored

  44. Mwape

    Yes those young players are good and we can’t ague,,,,, but let’s be real here, we need big guys like kalaba, sinkala, tembo,and others to give support to this young guy. Look to the team which was assembled by Nigeria, it was a combination of young and big players. That’s what we need to build the Zambian team. Let Mr wada wada remove his personal issues with players because that will not take us any were and he will end up losing his Job. Call back Kalaba,Sinkala, and other players,,,, remove your pride Ba coach

  45. chundula joseph

    Local coaches in Zambia kuwayawaya

  46. Benjamin Simunyola

    Zambia go go go!!! We are behind you Mr Wada ,that was a good display by your squad sir,I salute you for your good work. Don’t care what these useless supporters are saying cause their aim is just to bring confusions in Zambia. My hamble advice to you sir is that just concentrate on what is next for Zambia. Keep this very productive team because they are destined to succes. Just include these 3 players in your team namely;Nathan Sinkala,Fwayo tembo,Rainford kalaba.

  47. Hunter Shilesa

    Thankyou four long letter. I have two things to say. 1. Kalaba, kalengo, mbesuma, efford chabala, kapambwe mulenga etc should never ever be brought back to play in the national team they are tired. They simply cant much the pace of the game. The same already cost us the first game at ndola. It could have been worse in nigeria. 2. Dont you ever visit kamanga at faz to influence him to induce the coach to include these finished players.

  48. Elias silwimba

    We Really need the likes of kalaba and tembo.. we can not rely on fashion for now!

  49. kalipentala

    Some of you people I don’t know how you think. When Nigeria beat Zambia 2-1 at our soil, where these young boys in the team?the same kalaba you talking about was the one commanding the team.what happened? We even lost to Mozambique in afcon qualify because of the same players you are praising. The so called under 20 players are better than those old fools.learn to appreciate .

  50. Sinya Boy

    Godbless zambia bukandile bwacila even kuma
    Games sure….coaches choose players on merits mukaya pya.

  51. Tito

    It is painful that we lost but the line up was fine.

  52. Councillor

    Nigeria vs Zambia game was an intriguing one before, during and after the game.
    With Kalaba or without Kalaba nothing would have changed.
    World cup apearance is not a joking matter. You need big political brains and super economies.
    During Zambia vs Mozambique all your bigs names were involved but we lost.
    Please Zambians move on to Africa Cup qualifiers we never know. Period!!

  53. mouronho

    It’s time to mix oid and new players chapwa

  54. Manyi

    Kwena ba FAZ balipwalala kkkkkkk

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