PRESIDENT’S CORNER: Chipolopolo Need Our Push to Turn a Corner
Dear football family, we are back this week with another rounded interaction with the followers of the beautiful game. The just-ended week has been of different football experiences. Our senior women national team is off to Malawi for the first leg of the qualifiers for the TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2021™ which will kick off on October 20. The reverse fixture with the Scorchers of Malawi will be on October 26 at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka. Our under-20 Women National Team will have to wait until December for the third round of the Costa Rica 2022 FIFA World Cup clash with Congo Brazzaville. The under-17 ladies are also in camp preparing for the December African Union Games otherwise known as Region V. It is also an edition that will have the boys also take part. Our under-17 boys have the task of keeping to their qualification of the cancelled AFCON in Morocco.
With the Chipolopolo smarting from a bruising FIFA Window engagement against Equatorial Guinea in the race for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, we have two concluding fixtures coming up next month at home to Mauritania on November 12 and away to Tunisia four days later. A lot has been said about the team’s draw and loss to Equatorial Guinea in the October round of matches. While we are all disappointed with the October round of matches, we cannot afford to drop guard now, with two matches coming up in the next few weeks. The home match against Mauritania at National Heroes Stadium will be an opportunity for our team to re-enforce the message that it is not too far from the finished article that we desire it to be. Several players have shown that they are coming of age for senior national team duty and should be given full support to ensure that they begin to challenge for top competitions on the tournament and beyond. We will be happy to welcome some players that we missed due to injury and suspensions in the last window.
We are encouraged by the performance of some of our foreign based players on the just ended weekend where Patson Daka, Kings Kangwa, Gamphani Lungu, Lazarous Kambole were on target for their respective clubs. There was another Man of the Match performance for Toaster Nsabata between the sticks in South Africa which is welcome news for the country and national team selectors. Naturally the Daka goal, being a debut one for a Zambian player in the English Premiership caused quite a buzz and we congratulate the player on the milestone. Many other players in foreign leagues are representing the nation well and we hope that this form can manifest more often in national colours.
Finally, a big thank you to the fans that turned up to cheer the Chipolopolo throughout the World Cup qualifiers. Our plea is that we continue pushing the lads with positive energy as they strive to return us to the glory days.
Have a pleasant week and remember to observe the Covid-19 guidelines.