SPORTS MINISTER Chishimba Kambwili says coach Herve Renard has made him understand why the Chipolopolo has been performing badly of late.
Kambwili said Renard was not to blame alone as a cocktail of factors including the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) needed to be examined to determine what was threatening Zambia's qualification to its maiden World Cup finals.
"I had to meet the coach one-on-one so that he doesn't have to look over his shoulder when explaining issues," Kambwili said. "From what we discussed, I now understand why the team is not winning matches."
Kambwili was, by press time, scheduled to meet FAZ as part of the continued post-mortem of the Chipolopolo's poor run.
Kambwili, however, insisted that the government would withdraw funding to the national team if it continued to produce poor results.
"Just because I had a progressive meeting with the coach does not mean I regret what I said earlier on. They still need to improve," said Kambwili.
On Monday, Kambwili warned that the government would stop supporting the national team if it does not improve on its performance.
And Renard refused to comment on his meeting with the minister.
"Only Mr Kambwili is able to communicate," said Renard.
Zambia has only won three matches since winning the Africa Cup of Nations in February 2012; two slender 1-nil wins over Ghana and Uganda at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, and a 1-nil win over South Africa in the Mandela Cup in November.
In regulation time, Zambia lost eight games to Sudan, Malawi, Tanzania, Angola (twice), South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Uganda.
Zambia's draw with Lesotho was the sixth in a row having drawn against Norway, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Burkina Faso going into last Sunday's game.