Abroad: Meet Irfan Kawri, the Zambian football manager on the rise
There weren’t any Africans in the Ballon D’Or conversation since George Weir, but Mohamed Salah has completely changed that. In the same vein, the notion of not having a lot of Africans in the management of top teams in the world might soon be history. ESPN made contact with Irfan Kawri, the former Zambian national team assistant coach who is moving mountains in the United Kingdom. Irfan left the Chipolopolo job after their 2016 African Nations Championship and African Nations qualifier for England where he was born to a Zambian mother and Indian father. He now serves as the assistant of the coach lower league side, Clitheroe FC combining that with an Opposition Analyst and Scout role with Championship side, Queens Park Rangers. It doesn’t end there, the physical education and football teacher also works with the Manchester Schoolboys U-14s. It’s a combination of roles that complement each other, definitely building him to know a whole lot about the game.
"The balance is good in the sense that I am using different skills and abilities, and developing my skillset which makes it extensive. The skills and abilities are transferable.” - Irfan Kawri
He also refuses to be bothered by the challenges that may come as a result of being a Black and Minority Ethic coach learning his trade in English Lower Leagues:
"Although the general public will say people from BME background are underrepresented and at a disadvantage. I have never ever brought any attention to that. Every role I have had I've got through hard work and thanks to my personality. I've never been involved with or taken advantage of any BME scheme or initiative."
The likes of Jose Mourinho, Andres Villas Boas, Louis Van Gaal and Roy Hodgson previously combined teaching and scouting roles before being management greats. The 36-year-old, Irfan Kawri may soon join that company.