Sun, 19 Feb 2017 11:08:02 +0000


By Grace Chaile-Lesoetsa


THE Junior Chipolopolo team has the ability to lift the Total 2017 under-20 Africa Cup of Nations title, says former republican president Rupiah Banda.

Banda said this when he visited the junior Chipolopolo in camp yesterday at Barclays Complex training ground in Lusaka ahead of the tournament which kicks off next Sunday in Zambia.

He was impressed with the technical bench selection of players and commended them for building a formidable team

“We have a strong team with talented and skillful players. Zambia is hosting the tournament and this team has the opportunity to win it. I have confidence in you that Zambia will be champions,” he said.

The former president called on the players to remain discipline and focused.

He said it was not easy to carry the nation’s flag, therefore the team needs to work hard and achieve the target.

“You will have Zambia continue being focused. We are the host nation and every team will want to beat us. But discipline, hard work and dedication will lead you to the title,” he said.

Banda hailed President Edgar Lungu for his immense support to sports in Zambia.

“I am very happy that President Lungu has shown interest in the development of the sport. Hosting a tournament such as the u-20 AfCON requires commitment from Government and stakeholders,

“Football is a uniting factor and goes beyond politics and tribal affiliation. I urge the Zambians to turn up in numbers at National Heroes Stadium to support the boys,” he said.

He has advised FAZ to guide the current u-20 team jealously because they were the next senior team.

Meanwhile, u-20 coach Beston Chambeshi thanked the former leader for boosting the players’ morale.

Chambeshi said the team will endeavour to give Zambia an honourable representation.

“We are humbled by your visit and wise words. This gives us the confidence and encouragement to work harder,” he said.

Chambeshi is today scheduled to release the list of final u-20 team.

The U-20 tournament with eight participating teams will be held from February 26 to March 12 in the cities of Ndola and Lusaka.

Hosts Zambia is in Group A alongside Egypt, Mali and Guniea.



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