By MICHAEL MIYOBA
CAF Confederations Cup envoys Red Arrows FC and Zanaco must make the country proud by reaching the group stage of the continental championship, says Zambia Sports Fans Association patron Peter Makembo.
After being eliminated from the CAF Champions League, Zanaco will meet Malian giants Binga FC while Red Arrows will face Tanzanian outfit Simba FC in the final pre-group state round.
Arrows, who will be seeking their debut CAF Confederations Cup group stage qualification will visit Simba in the first leg on November 28 before hosting the side that has Chipolopolo midfielder Larry Bwalya on their roster on December 5 at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
Meanwhile, Zanaco will start at home against Binga on November 28 at Heroes Stadium before making their first-ever continental trip to Mali on December 5.
Makembo said there is need for the two clubs to fight to reach the group stages of the continental championship to protect the Zambia Super League’s status as one of the best in Africa.
Makembo, widely regarded as the country’s number one sports fan, encouraged the two envoys to realise that they are not just representing their respective clubs but they are representing the whole country.
“Competing in these CAF competitions is not easy but we want to encourage our two remaining envoys Zanaco and Red Arrows to make us proud as a country and reach the group stages.
“The two teams need to aim high because anything is possible in football and looking at the squads of both Zanaco and Red Arrows, I think they have what it takes to go far in the continental championship,” Makembo said.
“As fans we are behind them and we will make sure to provide the needed support during their home games. We want to see them progressing at continental level so that our league can maintain its professional status as one of the best in Africa.”
Zanaco will be aiming to return to league phase action since the 2019/2020 CAF Confederation Cup when they qualified to the quarterfinals for the first-time ever while Arrows will be seeking their maiden group stage qualification when they face Simba in the two-legged fixtures.
Meanwhile, Simba will return to Zambia for the first time since they ejected Nkana from the pre-group stage of the 2018/2019 CAF Champions League.