ZESCO United and ZANACO football teams should carry a winning mentality when they play in their respective continental assignments next year if they are to deliver the expected results, says the Zambia Sports Fans Association (ZASPOFA)
ZASPOFA patron Peter Makembo told the Daily Nation that Zambians were tired of unnecessary dismal performances by football teams in continental competitions and that there was need for Zambia’s flag bearers to make the country proud by posting good results.
Makembo challenged the players to raise their game to acceptable standards and not employing the business-as-usual mentality because fans will not forgive them if they fail to impress especially after the embarrassing performance by the U-23 at the CAF tournament in Senegal.
He said the two teams will have to prove to the football fraternity in Zambia that they were not the top two teams in the league by chance but that they deserved it by not relegating themselves to the gutters of mere participants but contenders.
“We are coming from embarrassing defeats with the U-23 and any dismal performance by the two teams will never be accepted. Zesco and Zanaco should realise that they are not just representing their clubs but the country at large and therefore they need to perform better.
“No embarrassing performances will be entertained and fans will grill them if they fail to perform because they have no excuse; they are champions in our league who will meet with other champions in other countries and they will have to show us that they mean serious business and are contenders for the coveted prizes,” Makembo said.
Makembo was however optimistic that the two teams were poised for better performances going by their records in the domestic league and previous records in continental football.
He said there was need for the management at the two clubs to draw up proper training programmes if they were to yield good results as preparation was imperative for them to do well.
“We know what the two teams are capable of doing and that is why as fans, we are pledging support for them.
If it will mean sacrificing to fly with the teams wherever they will go, we shall do it because we have done that before. All we are asking from them is to do us proud because we have endured a torrid period with Zambian football,” he said.
ZESCO has been paired with a yet to be named South Sudan side in the 2016 CAF Champions League preliminary round where they will host the first leg during the weekend of 14-16 February, 2016.
ZANACO on the other hand has been given a bye for the first round of the CAF Confederation Cup as they await the winner of the preliminary round tie between Harare City of Zimbabwe and AS Adema of Madagascar