THE Chipolopolo have what it takes to defend the Cosafa crown during the regional 2023 HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA Cup that will be staged in Durban from July 5-16, in South Africa, says the Zambia Sports Fans Association.
ZASPOFA patron Peter Makembo said the Chipolopolo squad which will be led by assistant gaffer Moses Sichone has potential to make the country proud as it consists of talented young players.
Makembo noted the need for the team to work hard as a unit to successfully defend the title.
“We have no doubt that the team will represent us diligently in South Africa. We have seen the names in the provisional squad though the coach is yet to unveil his final squad, we believe we have the ammunition needed to defend the Cosafa,” Makembo said.
“Our encouragement to the boys is that let them stay focused and work hard to achieve the needed objective. As fans we will always give them the needed support to inspire them to bring results which will unite and make the country proud,” he said.
Zambia will kick off the campaign at the tournament in Durban with a clash against neighbours Malawi on July 6 before facing Comoros in the second fixture set for July 9 at the King Zwelithini Stadium.
The Chipolopolo will then conclude their group B action with a tie against Seychelles on July 11 at the Princess Magogo Stadium.
Earlier, Sichone had unveiled a 30-member provisional squad led by Chipolopolo’s number one shot stopper, Lawrence Mulenga for the Cosafa Cup in South Africa.
Mulenga was instrumental as the Chipolopolo boys thrashed Ivory Coast 3-0 in the penultimate round of the 2023 AFCON qualifiers to qualify for the AFCON.
Sichone also named a combination of experience and youth in his squad for the 26th edition of the COSAFA Cup.
Zambia under-17 20232 AFCON forward Emmanuel Mwanza, Atletico Lusaka Forward Kingston Mutandwa, Gift Mphande among the youngsters who were summoned by Sichone and are looking forward to make the final squad.
Kelvin Mubanga Kampamba, Kelvin Kapumbu, Dominic Chanda, Jack Chirwa bring the experience to the squad with Joshua ‘Budo’ Mutale, Golden Mashata, Fredrick Mulambia, and Albert Kangwanda also named in the team.
FAZ earlier stated that Zambia will use the Cosafa tournament as a preparatory match for the July month end African Nations Championship qualifier.