- Speaking after Zambia’s 3-1 defeat to Morocco in the quarter final stage, Kamanga said his executive will carry out a CHAN postmortem to ascertain what went wrong in Cameroon.
By MICHAEL MIYOBA
FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Andrew Kamanga said it is depressing that the Chipolopolo failed to reach the semifinals at the ongoing African Nations Championship in Cameroon.
Speaking after Zambia’s 3-1 defeat to Morocco in the quarter final stage, Kamanga said his executive will carry out a CHAN postmortem to ascertain what went wrong in Cameroon.
Kamanga said qualifying to the semifinal of the CHAN would have been a perfect reward for the level of preparations that were invested in getting the team ready for the tournament.
“This week could not have started on a more depressing note than the exit of our Chipolopolo from the African Nations Championship at the quarterfinal stage.
“We had hoped that the team was going to go beyond the quarterfinals after having started promisingly,” Kamanga said.
He however noted that FAZ will not tire in trying to reboot the Chipolopolo through continuous investment in grassroots and youth football.
Kamanga said there is need for the Chipolopolo to move very quickly as there are Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers looming next month against Algeria and Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Kamanga has urged the Olympic-bound senior women’s national team to utilise the invitation to the Eight Nation Tournament in Turkey.
Zambia will join Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Uzbekistan in their group in a tournament that runs from February 15-24 in Antalya.
Kamanga said the association has continued to give the Copper Queens the best possible preparations after having already sent the team to Chile last December.
El Kaabi made it 3-0 from the penalty spot in the 39th minute while Moses Phiri scored the consolation goal for the Chipolopolo in the dying minutes of the match as Zambia bowed out of the competition.
Speaking in a post-match interview after the loss, “Micho” said it was unfortunate that the team allowed two goals in the first ten minutes before being reduced to ten men after Chilongoshi was given a red card in the first half.
“Micho” however noted that the quarter final match against Morocco was a true reflection of how competitive the leagues from the two countries are.
“I am happy that we gave everything but unfortunately our best under the circumstances was not enough to get us a better result and that is the reality.”
“I really wanted to go all the way but realistically speaking despite stretching all human and sport limits I need to be sincere and accept that despite players giving everything unfortunately we could not reach beyond this stage. This is the reality,” said “Micho.” “We played against a team from a country where two teams Wydad and Raja Casablanca were in the semifinals of the CAF Champions League and this is a pure reflection of their football. We need to work hard and rise above and be in the group stages of the Champions League to go beyond quarterfinal at the CHAN.”
Meanwhile, “Micho” said some players in the CHAN squad will be part of the Chipolopolo Africa Cup of Nations qualifying squad that will face Algeria and Zimbabwe after impressing in Cameroon.
He said those who failed to impress in Cameroon will not be considered for the AFCON qualifiers slated for next month.
Zambia will play Algeria on March 22 before concluding their 2021 AFCON qualifiers with a fixture against Zimbabwe on March 30.