‘Grant back home’
By MICHAEL MIYOBA
NATIONAL team coach Avram Grant is back home to consolidate preparations for the AFCON qualifiers after taking time to check on some foreign-based players to align their club duties with his plans for the national team.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said Grant had also taken time to follow local players during league matches and some training sessions.
Kamanga said the Chipolopolo technical bench will be expected to roll out their programme soon.
“We know that there are anxieties around the Chipolopolo AFCON campaign which resumes next month.
“The technical bench will be expected to roll out their programme soon. It was always known that there would be a FIFA window for friendly matches before the AFCON qualifiers, which is why we made sure the team was engaged most of last year,” Kamanga said.
Kamanga said with foreign leagues fully active and the local league in full swing it is almost impossible to organise any sort of international match for the Chipolopolo ahead of their back to back AFCON qualifier against Lesotho.
He however appealed to the fans to turn up in numbers at Ndola’s Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on March 23 for the home match against Lesotho.
Meanwhile, Kamanga reaffirmed the association’s commitment to provide the U23 team with quality preparations before they take on Egypt like it had done with the FIFA Women’s World Cup-bound Copper Queens that will play Republic of Korea in a friendly confirmed for the April FIFA window.
On Sunday, Under-23 national team coach Osward Mutapa announced a 30-member provisional squad that will face Egypt in next month’s final 2023 U-23 AFCON qualifier matches.
“It is our established practice that we give the teams quality preparations for major tournaments,” Kamanga said.
Zambia, who qualified to the last round after beating Sierra Leone 2-1 on aggregate will play Egypt in the first leg of the decider on March 20 before hosting the North Africans in the return fixture scheduled for March 26.