Former Chelsea, West Ham, and Ghana manager Avram Grant has been named the new manager of Zambia‘s national team.
The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) announced on Thursday that a two-year contract had been reached with the Israeli.
“I was looking for the right challenge and that’s why I chose Zambia,” Grant said at a press conference in Lusaka.
“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.”
Grant has prior managerial experience in Africa. He coached Ghana to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final, where they lost to Ivory Coast on penalties. Two years later, after coming fourth in the same tournament, Grant announced his resignation.
The 67-year-old takes over for Moses Sichone, a former Zambian international who had been serving as interim manager since the departure of former Croatian international Aljosa Asanovic in September. Moses Sichone has earned awards as a manager in his native country as well as in England and Serbia. It’s anticipated that Sichone will stay on as an assistant coach.
Grant will be charged with turning around the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations champions’ declining fortunes. The Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets), who placed third in their qualifying group for the 2022 World Cup, were unable to advance to this year’s competition in Cameroon.
Zambia does, however, have a number of promising young players, such as Fashion Sakala of Rangers and Patson Daka of Leicester City, who both won the Under-20 Nations Cup in 2017 and advanced to the U20 World Cup quarterfinals the same year.
The first game Grant will oversee will be a March qualifier against Lesotho at home for the 2023 Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.