Invest in youth, Bwalya urges

Zambian soccer legend Kalusha Bwalya has urged countries in southern Africa to start investing more in development programmes.

Zambian soccer legend Kalusha Bwalya has urged countries in southern Africa to start investing more in development programmes.

Bwalya, affectionately known as "King Kulu", said countries in the region will continue being a laughing stock if development is continuously neglected.

As one of the 2010 World Cup legacy programmes, Bwalya said the different countries must force top flight clubs to introduce properly structured development programmes.

"Development is a big challenge facing southern Africa countries, we have to start investing in all the aspects of the game, including coaching," he said.

"I still can't understand how it is possible for our countries to operate premier leagues that do not have the Under-14s, 17s and 19s.

"In Zambia, we are now making it compulsory for our top league clubs to introduce various development divisions to play in competitive leagues.

"That will also help prepare them for junior national teams. The club coaches must teach them the basics of football.

"Right now, we have many players being called up for national duty where the coach will have two to three days dealing with the basics of the game."

He said South Africa, like Zambia, has suffered after achieving "a lot of things very early".

"The problem is that due to lack of proper development programmes, there was no continuity," said Bwalya, who is also the president of the Football Association of Zambia.

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