There is something peculiarly unsettling about the direction the debate about the $25, 000 dollars being staked for the next Chipolopolo coach. There has been a sustained school of thought that has flatly rejected the possibility of the national team coach being paid $25, 000 (K325, 000). Every possible excuse has been lined up to discredit the claim that the next Chipolopolo coach could pocket K325, 000, broken as $10, 000 provided by government and $15, 000 taken up by the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ). Rather than question FAZ about how they have suddenly proclaimed that they could raise $15, 000 towards a credible coach the anthem has been mooted, that merely reduces the debate to, “it can never happen?” No one has cared to unmask the corporate face behind the $15, 000 support. By the way, the news about the $25, 000 pay check for the coach was first broken by Sports Minister Moses Mawere.
The FAZ confirmation only helped add context. While everyone is agreed that Zambia can hardly get a quality coach in the market at $10, 000 there has been almost round condemnation of the proposal to raise $25,000 for the coach. Very credible voices have almost in a choreographed manner been lined up to lament how FAZ has perpetually been debt ridden to the extent that they can never raise any money. So lopsided has the debate that even the fact that previous salary obligations owed to former coaches have been lumped on FAZ. Is it not a matter of public record that government has been the sole paymaster for the national team coach? The argument has been stretched to the extent that FAZ has been dragged to FIFA by previous coaches for non-payment of salaries when it is plain that government has been responsible for that obligation.
Have we become so accustomed to mediocrity that any possibility of progressive discourse no longer moves us? Rather than probe the idea further and find out how the $15, 000 will be raised, the rallying cry has been, “It is impossible.” There has even been a more damning one from a former FAZ vice president who has even served as Member of Parliament albeit by default that FAZ should consider scaling down the offer. No one news about FAZ going to the market to raise a $10 million Chipolopolo bond has only received a muted response. It is hardly in our culture to dig into progressive discourse but rather just take a dismissive approach.
An average top of the range coach on the continent costs anything from $25, 000 to $120,000. Even the Herve Renard whose resignation has excited some sections of our football family was raking $80, 000 per month. Yet we sit here trashing a $25, 000 possible offer.