PRESIDENT’S CORNER: Cameroon Camp Catalyzes Chipolopolo Qatar Dream
We begin this week on a fast-paced note on our football roster. The week begins on the back of Friday’s convincing 6-0 win of our Under-20 Women National Team who did the nation proud by quenching the junior Scorchers of Malawi in the first leg of the Costa Rica 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Nkoloma Stadium. Our Copper Queens are flying to South Africa today where they will compete at the 2021 Cosafa Women’s Championship. However, the shine remains on the under-20s that did a good job on Friday although It is only half the job done with the return leg looming on October 9, 2021, in Lilongwe. We were privileged to have Fourth Republican President Rupiah Banda and sports minister Elvis Nkandu in the stands to cheer the girls to victory. RB is a long-time friend of the game and brought a lot of positivity to the stands. We salute his lifelong support to the beautiful game across all seasons. On the pitch, the girls did a good job by not only displaying good football but also scored some beautiful goals. We pledge to give them all the necessary support in ensuring the qualification process is smoothened. We have already seen a lot of positivity from raising the bar high in support of the women game with Olympic qualification achieved not too long ago. We have no doubt that under-20 will also be in line to break new grounds in the women’s game. The team will remain in camp before flying to Malawi for the return leg. Our Copper Queens this morning fly to Port Elizabeth for the 2021 Cosafa Women’s Championship that commences on Tuesday although Zambia takes to the pitch a little later. The Cosafa Women’s Championship has always been a huge platform for our identification and enhancement of talent for our country. We will use this platform to build for the Africa Cup and FIFA World Cup qualifiers ahead.
The Chipolopolo are also in the thick of preparations for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers that will see then play Equatorial Guinea in back-to-back clashes next month. Coach Beston Chambeshi’s side are away to Equatorial Guinea on October 7 before hosting the West Africans three days later at the National Heroes Stadium. We have arranged an international camp for the Chipolopolo in Cameroon as part of our commitment to quality preparations for the team. Cameroon is particularly strategic as it is an hour’s flight from Equatorial Guinea and similar weather conditions to help the Chipolopolo acclimatize. Foreign based players will join camp in Cameroon before heading to Malabo. We also hope that our engagement over our England based players with the clubs and the authorities regarding the red list status of Zambia would have yielded positive results. We are keeping our fingers crossed over the availability for the second leg of the Britain based players. Our expectation is that with the kind of support given to the team, they should be able to reciprocate by reaping maximum points. We can only wish them all the best.
Have a pleasant week and remember to observe the Covid-19 guidelines.