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Chipolopolo regroup  

…Local camp delayed by a day 

…Local camp delayed by a day 

By MICHAEL MIYOBA

THE Zambia national soccer team is set to regroup today to intensify preparations for the delayed 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) scheduled for next month in Ivory Coast.

Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) Communications Manager Sydney Mungala said the team which was expected to regroup yesterday in Lusaka will regroup today after the local camp was delayed by a day.

Earlier, FAZ president Andrew Kamanga confirmed that the Chipolopolo technical bench led by coach Avram Grant had rolled out a preparatory programme that will see the team head to Saudi Arabia for a slightly above 10-day intense training camp. 

“We are lucky that some foreign-based players will be available to join both the local and international camp as we prepare for the tournament. We have been engaging other stakeholders to widen possibilities around making this AFCON experience an unforgettable journey,” Kamanga said.

Grant had named a 55-member provisional squad consisting of 29 foreign-based players and 26 local players.

The squad was reduced to 54 players after Canada-based Aime Mabika was ruled out due to injury.

The Chipolopolo will compete in Group F at the AFCON alongside Congo DR, Tanzania and group favourites Morocco.

The 34th edition of the continental championship will run from January 13 to February 11, 2024.

Zambia will kick off its AFCON campaign with a match against Ivory Coast on January 17 before facing Tanzania four days later.

The Chipolopolo will then conclude their group F matches with a game against Morocco on January 24.

“Our team is expected to leave for Saudi Arabia on January 1. Going by the CAF prescribed roadmap, the provisional squad will be down to 27 on January 3. We can only urge the fans to support the technical bench and squad in their quest to propel our team to glory,” Kamanga said.

Meanwhile, Zambia will play an international friendly match against Cameroon on January 9 to prepare for the AFCON in Ivory Coast. 

Kamanga said that after playing Cameroon, the Chipolopolo boys will also play another friendly match which will be announced in due course. 

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