The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) announced that Israeli soccer manager Avram Grant has been appointed as coach of the Zambia national team, nicknamed Chipolopolo or copper bullets.
The team, which currently ranks 88th in the world according to the latest FIFA Men’s Ranking, won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012 but has not qualified for the tournament since 2015.
Grant’s goal is to lead Chipolopolo to qualify for the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations.
He has previously coached teams such as Chelsea, West Ham United, Portsmouth, Partizan Belgrade and the Israeli national team. He has also led Ghana to a final appearance in the continental competition but lost to Ivory Coast in 2015.
Despite their previous success, Zambia’s national team, Chipolopolo, has failed to qualify for the last three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. However, they have had success in the past, winning the tournament in 2012 and being runners-up in 1974 and 1994. Unfortunately, the team has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup.
After signing a two-year-contract, Grant, 67, said at a press conference in Lusaka on Thursday: “I was looking for the right challenge and that’s why I chose Zambia.
“I came here because of the challenge and I hope when I leave here I will look around and say we did a good job and made a good foundation for the future.
“I think Zambia has the potential, we have set the targets of what we want to achieve.”