PRESIDENT’S CORNER: CAF Envoys Scorecard Worrisome…Chipolopolo FIFA Preps Underway
Dear readers and esteemed football followers. We are just coming off a weekend of mixed results for our CAF envoys. There was joy and despair in equal measure as our envoys in CAF competitions played their return legs in the preliminary rounds of continental competitions with Zambia scoring two out of four among the qualifiers to the next round. By any standards that is a decent score although we could have loved all the four envoys to sail past the preliminaries. Congratulations to Zanaco and Red Arrows for qualifying to the next round while Kabwe Warriors and Zesco United are encouraged to pick themselves up after stumbling at the first hurdle. We had expected all our flag carriers to sail past the first hurdle given the credibility of our envoys. Our envoys’ duty on the continent goes beyond just representing the club but the nation at large.
Zanaco comprehensively beat Akonangui of Equatorial Guinea 3-0 over two legs while Red Arrows edged out Young Buffaloes of Eswatini 2-1 in the Champions League and Confederation Cup respectively. Zesco United crashed out after a 2-2 aggregate score with Royal Leopards of Eswatini with Kabwe Warriors beaten by Malagasy side CFFA 2-1.
We have repeatedly stressed the importance of our teams to do well in continental assignments to retain the credibility of our league that is ranked in the top 10 on the continent. The more our teams get competitive action on the continent, it could reflect in the quality of the local players that are part our national teams. With our league in full swing and our teams active on the continent we have no doubt that our national team will be in better condition in the next round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers on October 6, 2021, away to Equatorial Guinea and four days later at home against the same opponent.
We are confident that a blend of our best local players and the few playing well in foreign leagues puts us in good stead to reap maximum points in the October round of FIFA World Cup matches. On the administrative part we have already triggered a few processes to ensure that the team gets the best level of preparations. We are working on according the team another international camp to help them focus on the FIFA World Cup race. My executive is keeping to the pledge to give the team the necessary support and hope that the nation can be rewarded with good results on the pitch. We have no doubt that with the level of planning and support for the forthcoming assignments, our team will mount a formidable challenge for an elusive World Cup appearance.
Have a productive week and remember to observe all the Covid-19 guidelines.