By MICHAEL MIYOBA
FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) has reaffirmed its commitment to give the Chipolopolo technical bench all the necessary support as they prepare for the September Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said the Chipolopolo technical bench led by Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic has the associations’ blessings to re-enforce the squad with foreign players of Zambian heritage that are competitive and willing to don Zambian colours. He said two foreign-based players of Zambian heritage have accepted to play for Chipolopolo with Ntanzana Mayembe of Cardiff City already in the country.
Kamanga said FAZ has extended the programme to re-enforce the Copper Queens squad going to the Olympics with foreign-based players of Zambian heritage
“We are in advanced stages of finalising an international camp for the Copper Queens preceding their trip to Tokyo in July. We have no doubt when the team lines up against Brazil, Netherlands and China they will do us proud,” Kamanga said.
Meanwhile, Mayembe who joined the Chipolopolo camp on Sunday Afternoon said he was happy to be part of Micho’s plans ahead of the friendly matches against Senegal, Benin and Sudan.
“It feels good to be home. It was a long flight but once I got to the 10-minute mark, I was relived, I was happy. I haven’t been home in 15 years which is such a long time and I am looking forward to it,” Mayembe said.
“Now I’m here, I have seen my dad and my family that has just made me smile and gave me a boost and confidence and hopefully take it into the games, training and keep fighting but it is very good to be home.”
Mayembe said it was difficult to settle for Zambia when other countries were tracking him but the desire to help the Chipolopolo made it easy for him to choose his homeland.
“I spoke with the coach before the call up and he explained to me the situation and said he was going to give me the chance to help my country out and without a doubt I decided to come home,” Mayembe said. The 18-year-old Cardiff City player who represented England at Under-15 and Wales Under-18 is part of the 36-member provisional squad “Micho” has named for the friendly matches against Senegal, Benin and Sudan.
The Chipolopolo who are expected to leave for Senegal today will play Senegal on June 5 before facing Benin on June 8 in Cotonou.
Zambia will conclude its June friendlies in Omdurman where they will play Sudan on June 11.