Micho Explains Absence of Europe based Quartet
Chipolopolo coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has explained why new Glasgow Rangers signing Fashion Sakala and Red Bull Salzburg duo Patson Daka and Enock Mwepu have not made the provisional squad for the June FIFA international friendlies.
Micho, who has named a 36-man squad which is devoid of Daka, Mwepu, Sakala and Russia based striker Evans Kangwa, said the quartet have been excused for them to decide on their future after having a successful season in their respective leagues.
“The players in question have their minds in crossroads of their careers and their childhood dream of playing in topflight football is in front of them,” Micho said.
“Such people whose mind is not present and in order for them not to be put in a position of endangering their careers through injuries would be unfair to the country to summon them for national team assignments.”
Micho said it would be unfair to hinder the players’ prospective moves by obligating them to accompany the team on international duty.
“We know that we need them, we know that they are very important, and we know that they are undoubtedly patriotic,” he said.
“Fashion is going to Rangers (in Scotland) and is supposed to undergo medicals and complete his switch from KV Oostende. Daka, Mwepu and Kangwa have to decide on their next future, and it is just fair that they can make a decision that is in the best interest of the country,” he added.
England based Frankie Musonda was summoned alongside Cardiff City midfielder Ntanzana Mayembe, but the Raith Rovers defender will not be available for the next eight weeks due to injury.
“Ntazana (Mayembe) is a great prospect for the future. His parents have shown exemplary patriotism because they would have chosen Wales or England, but we are happy that the boy and his parents are committed to ensure that he represents Zambia,” Sredojevic said.
Micho said the three friendlies against Senegal, Benin and Sudan are important as they will offer a platform for players to show their capabilities ahead of the 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers to be played in September.
“We are looking to widen the pool of players that will enable us to be ready to compete in September for the 2022 World Cup qualifier matches, we are going to try, test and experiment and see the kind of players who are going to be able to make the Zambian World Cup dream a reality,” Sredojevic said.