…Levy Mwanawasa Stadium to host World Cup qualifier against Congo Brazzaville
By MICHAEL MIYOBA
THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) says CAF has allowed Zambia to use Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Congo Brazzaville.
The FIFA World Cup qualification campaign takes off this month with Zambia hosting Congo Brazzaville on November 17 before facing Niger away four days later.
FAZ General Secretary Reuben Kamanga confirmed that CAF has granted FAZ a conditional approval to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Congo Brazzaville at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
“I can confirm that we have conditional approval from CAF to use the stadium. However, they expect us to work on all the issues that they raised,” Kamanga said.
FAZ in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports will need to work on the dressing rooms, playing field and substitute benches if the stadium is to be certified by CAF to host future Chipolopolo engagements.
And FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said the association has been working with the government who are the owners of the stadium to ensure fully compliance with the FIFA/CAF requirements.
“With Heroes Stadium completely struck off the list of FIFA approved stadia; we only have Levy Mwanawasa as our fall-back stadium. We remain optimistic that the final approval will be given once all the touch ups are done in line with the set benchmarks by CAF,” Kamanga said.
Kamanga said Chipolopolo coach Avram Grant and his technical team will be getting to work in the next few days ahead of the back-to-back matches against Congo and Niger.
He said the technical bench will provide the nitty-gritties of how the preparation will go but, in the background, the association has been building up to the two matches with the usual sense of prudency.
Kamanga appealed to the public to turn up for the Chipolopolo as they keep their dream for World Cup qualification alive.
Meanwhile, Kamanga has mourned freelance photojournalist Collins Kalenga who died on Friday.
Kamanga said Kalenga was a permanent feature at local and international matches and won innumerable awards in his career.
“We can only celebrate his life for the service he rendered to the game. As we lay him to rest today, we extend our condolences to his family and the journalism fraternity,” Kamanga said.