Poor planning: Zambian soccer team tour of India hangs in balance

Poor planning: Zambian soccer team tour of India hangs in balance

PANAJI: African Cup of Nations champions Zambia’s proposed tour to Goa later this month is hanging by a thread after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) said they are yet to hear from the visitors.

Konkola Copper Mines, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources — who have a major stake in Sesa Goa — are sponsoring the team’s visit to Goa, but with the African champions yet to obtain permission from the AIFF, the tour looks unlikely to go ahead later this month.

“There is no direct communication from Zambia with the AIFF. I am yet to hear anything from them. Zambia must write to us officially, we then have to seek permission from the ministry of sports since a foreign team is involved. As of now, there is no progress,” AIFF general secretary Kushal Das told Times of India on Tuesday.

Zambia had trained in Goa last year and were involved in two friendlies against Goa XI and India XI. They won both friendlies with ease and then went on to surprise the world by winning the African Cup of Nations.

According to those in the know, Zambia were in constant touch with the Sesa Football Academywho were expected to be the hosts. But like Das pointed out, the permissions have to be secured from the federation and not the Goa Football Association.

“We have forwarded the letters to the AIFF. There are several routines involved. I do not know what is the status (of the tour ) as of now ,” said a representative of the Sesa Football Academy.

Unmindful of the confusion in India, Zambia coach Herve Renard has named a 23 member Zambia Development/CHAN team for the “India tour”.

“The team will leave for India on November 19, two days after the closure of the 2012 local soccer season,” the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) said in a statement on their official website.

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