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Sunzu, Mabika in

…as Grant unveils 29 ‘bullets’ for Elephants battle

CHIPOLOPOLO defender Stoppila Sunzu has been named in Avram Grant’s 29-member squad set to regroup to prepare for the June 17, 2023 Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ivory Coast.
Sunzu, who scored the winning penalty as Zambia won its only Africa Cup of Nations title in 2012 has not played for Chipolopolo since 2018.
Between 2018 to date the Chipolopolo defence kingpin who features for Chinese outfit, Jinang Xingzhou has been handed a number of national team call ups which were not honoured due to various reasons.
His last call up was in November 2022 for the historic international friendly date against Israel but didn’t show up due to travel restrictions in China.
Meanwhile, Grant has also named USA-based defender Aime Mabika in the provisional squad despite the defender not yet cleared to feature for the national team.
Mabika, who plays for Major League Soccer club Toronto FC missed the last AFCON qualifiers due to a delay in the naturalisation process of his citizenship as he was born in Zambia from Congolese parents.
Grant has also handed Enock Mwepu’s young brother Fransisco Mwepu a maiden Chipolopolo call up after the former Under -20 star made history by becoming the first Zambian to play in the Spanish Laliga with Cadiz CF last week.
Nchanga Rangers goalkeeper Victor Chabu and FC Muza striker Andrew Phiri have also been called in Grant’s setup with SuperSport United midfielder Gamphani Lungu also making his way back in the team.
Notable players set to miss the crunch tie in Ndola include midfielder Edward Chilufya of Danish outfit Midtjylland and Benson Sakala who are nursing injuries.
The squad consisting of 18 foreign-based stars and 11 local stars is set to regroup in the first week of June with foreign based players expected early following the closure of foreign leagues.
Lawrence Mulenga (Power Dynamos), Toaster Nsabata (Sekhukhune United-RSA), Victor Chabu (Nchanga Rangers).
DEFENDERS – Sunzu (Jinang Xingzhou-China), Mabika (Toronto FC-USA), Frankie Musonda (Ayr United – Scotland), Benedict Chepeshi (Red Arrows), Gift Mphande (Atletico Lusaka), Samson Mkandawire, Kelvin Kapumbu (both Zesco United), Tandi Mwape (TP Mazembe – DRC), Dominic Chanda (Kabwe Warriors), Roderick Kabwe (Sekhukhune United – RSA), Pride Mwansa (Nkwazi), Golden Mafwenta (MFK Vyskov – Czech Republic)
MIDFIELDERS – Kings Kangwa (Red Star Belgrade – Serbia), Emmanuel Banda (Rijeka – Croatia), Rarry Bwalya (Amazulu FC – RSA), Clatous Chama (Simba SC – Tanzania), Patson Kwataine (Mufulira Wanderers), Lubambo Musonda (AC Horsens – Denmark), Kelvin Kampamba (Zesco United), Lameck Banda (Lecce – Italy), Gamphani Lungu (Supersport United – RSA).
STRIKERS – Fashion Sakala (Glasgow Rangers – Scotland), Patson Daka (Leicester City – England), Andrew Phiri (FC Musa), Kennedy Musonda (Yanga SC – Tanzania) and Francisco Mwepu (Cadiz CF – Spain).


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