His Excellency, Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata, President of the Republic of Zambia,

congratulates the Zambia national soccer team on their crowning as Africa’s best team in 2012.

The President said the Confederation of African Football (CAF) award is a great achievement for the team that has also been rated second best in the world by the World Soccer Magazine.

“You have stood tall among other great nations and that is a mark with which we have been known. Indeed you have presented this nation with an early Christmas gift,” the President said, in his congratulatory message to the national team.

CAF on Thursday named Zambia, the Africa Champions, the team-of-the-year, with Herve Renard winning the coach-of-the-year-award.

The President pledged his Government’s commitment to the development of sports in general and football in particular.

“Your achievements throughout the year have encouraged my Government to invest even more in football, and the massive sports infrastructure development across the country is testimony to this,” the President said.

Presiddent Sata urged the team to continue working hard and build on the success to defend the pride of the country.

Zambia were on February 12, crowned 2012 Africa Champions after edging Ivory Coast 8-7 on post-match penalties in Libreville, Gabon.

The team has also qualified for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations to be held in South Africa starting next month.

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