Zambia have appointed former Chelsea, West Ham and Ghana coach Avram Grant as head of their national team.
The Israeli has signed a two-year contract, the Football Federation of Zambia (FAZ) announced on Thursday.
“I was looking for the right challenge and that’s why I chose Zambia,” Grant told a press conference in Lusaka.
“I came here because of the challenge and I hope that when I leave here I will look around and say that we have done a good job and laid 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 previous managerial experience in Africa, having led Ghana to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final, where they were beaten on penalties by Ivory Coast, but quit after finishing fourth in the same competition two years later.
The 67-year-old, who has won accolades as a coach in his home country, as well as in England and Serbia, replaces former Zambian international Moses Sichone who took over as interim manager after the departure of former Croatian international Aljosa Asanovic in September. . Sichone is expected to keep his position as assistant coach.
Grant will be tasked with reviving the faltering fortunes of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winners. The Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) failed to qualify for this year’s tournament in Cameroon and finished third in their group of qualification for the 2022 World Cup.
However, Zambia have several talented young players, including Rangers striker Fashion Sakala and Leicester City striker Patson Daka, who won the Under-20 Nations Cup in 2017 and reached the quarter-finals of the Under-20 World Cup the same year.
Grant’s first match in charge will be at home against Lesotho in March, a 2023 Nations Cup qualifier to be held in Ivory Coast.