THERE will be no excuse for failing to beat Congo Brazzaville home and away in the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers and Zambians will not forgive the players for any dismal performance, the Zambia Sports Fans Association (ZSFA) has warned.
And ZSFA intends to fly 1,800 fans to Brazzaville to cheer the Chipolopolo in the return match to be played on Sunday 27 March, four days after hosting the Diables Rouges (Red Devils).
ZSFA patron Peter Makembo told the Daily Nation yesterday that two games within a week will not be easy but challenged the players to assume a winning mentality to ensure that they garnered maximum points to increase their chances of qualifying to the continental showpiece.Makembo said Zambians were expecting nothing less than a win over the two legs, adding that the encounter should be sealed off when Congo comes to Zambia so that the return match becomes a formality.
He said Zambia should draw confidence from Zesco United players whose performance has exceeded all expectations in its CAF assignments so far.
“This is a qualifier which should be taken seriously and for the players they should give it all because no one will forgive them for losing to Congo. Those who will make the final cut should realise that they are representing all the Zambians who have faith in them that they can deliver.
“The game between Zambia and Congo will be tough but we have faith that our boys will perform better in the two games. The team should kill off the competition in the first game at home by winning with a wider margin so that the return game becomes a formality.
‘‘This is an important game which we cannot afford to lose and so our message to the technical bench and the players is that they should leave no stone unturned in their preparation for the qualifiers,” Makembo said.
He advised the players and the coaches not to be drawn into unnecessarily battles over the FAZ elections but concentrate on the two games ahead this month.
Meanwhile, Makembo says his association will ferry over 1,800 fans to Congo to cheer the Chipolopolo in the return match.
He said the players needed moral support in order to be motivated so that they perform according to expectation.
“We have done it before and we have seen it working to the advantage of the team and that is why this time we want to take over 1,800 fans to Congo because we realise that the players need our support more than ever before,” he said.