Zambia have sacked Serbian coach Milutin Sredojevic as they prepare for a tough World Cup qualifying schedule starting in September, the national soccer association confirmed on Sunday.
“The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) can confirm that they have entered into a mutual separation agreement with their senior men’s national team coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic,” a statement said.
“After a meeting between FAZ and the coach, it was agreed that in the interest of progress for both sides, they should go their separate ways. “
Zambia are in the same World Cup group as Tunisia, Mauritania and Equatorial Guinea, who have all qualified for the Nations Cup next January while Zambia will be absent.
Only the group winners advance to the final knockout stages of the World Cup and Tunisia, which will travel to Zambia in September, are favorites to advance.
Results under Sredojevic, who has coached national teams and clubs in many African countries since 2001 and was hired by Zambia in February last year, have been mixed.
The Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) came back twice from behind to draw 3-3 against Algeria, which holds the Africa Cup of Nations in 2021, but lost 1-0 to Botswana in the same competition.
A shock winner of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, Zambia failed to build on that success and last qualified for the biennial tournament in 2015.
Whoever succeeds Sredojevic will base hopes for a revival on young strikers like Patson Daka, who recently signed a five-year contract with English Premier League club Leicester City.
© 2021 AFP