PRESIDENT’S CORNER: Chipolopolo and Copper Queens Should Do It for KK
We are back for another interaction with you the followers of the beautiful game. It is hard to reflect on anything else during the national mourning in honour of our founding President Dr Kenneth Kaunda. The football family feels a greater part of this loss for the many contributions Dr Kaunda made toward football and sport in general. Who can forget the befitting moniker for the national team? KK11! Or the many send-offs and receptions that KK hosted each time our national team had important engagements? He bestowed many national honours to outstanding footballers and administrators during his reign. Before we could even fully comprehend the demise of KK, football has suffered many other departures. We have been hit harder by the loss of the first ever indigenous FIFA referee Bennet Simfukwe. This is harder especially that we also lost former FAZ president Evaristo Kasunga not too long ago. These are just few of the football servants we have lost, with many more crossing over to the other side. We have a duty to honour their memories by ensuring that we raise the bar high for the performance of our teams. Most importantly by upholding high levels of administrative integrity that these men and women stood for. It is the only way we can fully realize the goals that they set for our game.
Even under the cloud of solemnity we have been quietly laying the ground for international engagements for our national teams. The Chipolopolo will this week begin the defence of the Cosafa title they won in 2019. With the tournament cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 chaos we can be proud that football has rebounded from calamity to provide some ray of hope under so much despair. As the Chipolopolo do duty in South Africa, we are hopeful that they will represent our country well. The technical bench has its eyes on also preparing for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in September. The seriousness of the assignment is reflected in some of the players that have been drafted for the tournament.
Our Copper Queens are also in the final stages of preparations for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (to be played in 2021). Despite the setbacks around the international games and possible camps that have fallen through, we are confident that the team will triumph in Tokyo. It is not easy to keep a team in residential camp for three months and keep them focussed on the job. They have played Chile and South Africa in international friendly matches which itself provided stern tests for the squad. Covid-19 has put so may barriers in international football, but we will remain resolute in keeping the game going under the strain of the pandemic. Zambia is in Group F with Brazil, Netherlands and China. We urge all our teams engaging in international tournaments to do their best as a befitting honour to KK.
Have a productive week and remember to keep safe.