ZAMBIA Under-23 coach Figton Simukonda has unveiled an 18-man squad to face Nigeria in the All-Africa Games qualifer on Saturday against a background of poor performance by other national soccer teams.
And Some Zambia soccer team players have disclosed that there are misunderstandings between the technical committee and the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), citing lack of interest in the players’ welfare on the part of Football House.
Simukonda said he was confident that his lads will deliver a good result in Abuja to enhance their chances of qualifying to the All-Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville in September.
“We have done our best in training and the boys are ready to take on Nigeria .I know it won’t be easy but we have no choice but to deliver,”he said.
Football Association of Zambia president Kalusha Bwalya urged the lads to do their best and force a positive result in Nigeria.
Kalusha told them that football was their job and that they should put in their best to beat Nigeria to help them qualify to the All-Africa Games.
“I just want to remind you that you are playing in two phases away and home, so you should ensure you get a result that will not put you in a tight position to qualify when you host Nigeria in a return match,” he said.
He advised the players to always feel proud when given the task to represent Zambia as they face Nigeria.
“The badge on your jersey is an eagle and you know that an eagle flies high, so do it for the 14 million Zambians you represent,” he said.
The coach has included some Under-20 players that were booted out from the on-going Africa Youth Championship in Senegal.
The Under-23 will only have the services of one foreign- based player Ronald Sate Sate Kampamba after Mukuka Mulenga was ruled out due to an injury.
Strikers: Moses Phiri(Zanaco),Ronald Sate Sate Kampamba (Weda Deglia),Spencer Ngalande (Nchanga Rangers),Kapota Kayawe(Kufue Celtic),Patrick Ngoma(Red Arrows)
Midfielder:Shadrick Malambo(Red arrows),Julius Situmbeko(Power Dynamos),Nsofwa Mwansa(Kabwe Warriors),Spencer Sautu (Choma Eagles),Larry Bwalya(Power Dynamos).
Defenders:Salulani Phiri(Zanaco),Benard Mapili(Zesco),Billy Mutale(Power Dynamos),Chishimba Changala(Zesco),Boyd Mkandawire,John Chingandu
And Some Zambia soccer team players have disclosed that there are misunderstandings between the technical committee and the Football Association of Zambia, citing lack of interest in the players’ welfare on the part of Football House.
“Just imagine when the senior team was going to camp in South Africa ahead of the Equatorial Guinea AfCON the players did not know when they were leaving and how much they were to be paid and you expect them to perform wonders,” the source said.
The player revealed that tickets for the flight to South Africa were obtained on credit, along with accommodation in South Africa and the training facility.
“The players saw everything that was happening before the tournament, their tickets were on credit and rooms were also on credit and the technical bench had to share rooms.
“In normal circumstances, teams have to arrive at the AfCON three days before kickoff of the tournament but you saw that Zambia arrived a day before official opening of the tournament which disturbed the players of course,” the source said.
He said it was a shame to see a divided FAZ executive arrive at the tournament with most of the members not talking to each other.
“If you were to consult most of people at the secretariat at FAZ they are frustrated and have no kind words for the executive.
It’s only that they are scared to rock the boat,” revealed the source.
The source also revealed that the Under-23 are also preparing for the All-Africa Games under difficult conditions which will affect their performance. “The Under-23 is camped at the technical centre which has no proper facilities but they are supposed to be leaving tomorrow (today) for Abuja when their visa’s are not ready.
I will not blame the boys if they underperform, just imagine the boys lack simple necessities such as water during training,’’ the source revealed.