PRESIDENT’S CORNER: Let Us Keep Believing in Our Team

Dear football family, it is very easy to get lost in the maze of football activities in the last 48 hours involving our various national teams. With the Under-20 women qualifying to the next round of the Costa Rica 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers after beating Malawi 8-1 on aggregate and the Copper Queens minting bronze at the 2021 Cosafa Women championship, the plate is full for this week. Inevitably, the last 24 hours are the freshest with the Chipolopolo drawing 1-all with Equatorial Guinea at National Heroes Stadium. It was a game that signified the return of fans to National Heroes Stadium in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. From a football standpoint everything went well until Equatorial Guinea equalized in the late stages of the second half. On the brighter side, the team exhibited some progressive football that has not been seen in a while in a Zambian team. Despite the many setbacks we suffered in the build up to this game like the absence of key playing personnel in the mould of Enock Mwepu, Patson Daka, Dickson Chapa and Evans Kangwa, the players called to duty rose to the occasion and accounted themselves very well. Soberly reflecting on the turn of events on the pitch reaffirms our standpoint that the Chipolopolo is not too far from returning to its all-conquering status. On our part as FAZ, we have made it a point to give the team top quality preparations for any major engagements. It is our belief that top quality preparations are critical in paving the way for success. For all the World Cup fixtures, our team has had an international camp preceding the engagements to ensure that the technical bench plans better. Prior to the Mauritania assignment, we sent the team to Morocco while for the Equatorial Guinea outing, the team was camped in Cameroon. Based on what we saw yesterday, we are not too far from moulding a team that is fearsome on the continent and beyond. Understandably, the overall run in the world cup race has been a disappointment to the fans that have been pushing the team to do better. There is no substitute for what must be done but to try harder.

Rather than vilify our players, we need to lift them up and urge them to push harder. Our world cup dream may be in jeopardy but there is still much more to fight for and ensuring we return the Chipolopolo to the summit of the African game. We urge our lads to keep working hard and ensure that they fly the national flag high.

Hav a productive week and remember to observe all the Covid-19 guidelines.

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