By MICHAEL MIYOBA
CHIPOLOPOLO striker Patson Daka has urged Zambians not to give up on the Chipolopolo after their disappointing elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast.
Zambia suffered an early exit after finishing third in Group F with two points on par with Tanzania who finished bottom while group leaders Morocco and Congo DR made the round of 16.
Daka became the first Zambian footballer to score in all the four different age groups of the Africa Cup of Nations after scoring the crucial last minute equaliser in the match against Tanzania.
He said the Chipolopolo boys who were making their first appearance at the AFCON since 2015 would not give up.
“Onwards and upwards are the words that come to mind. I know many of us are disappointed and some even angry, but I’d like to urge you to not give up just yet. As the saying goes ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try again,’ and we’ll do just that,” Daka said.
“Thanks to you the Chipolopolo family for the continued support,” the Chipolopolo striker who flew back to his base Leicester City in England said.
Meanwhile, Zambia Sports Fans Association patron Peter Makembo gave the Chipolopolo a hero’s welcome despite the team having failed to reach the knock out stage.
Makembo led his band to cheering the Chipolopolo as they arrived at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport yesterday and encouraged the team not to be discouraged by the poor run in Ivory Coast.
“Walk with your heads high. As fans we are proud of you. I know we would have wanted you to come back with the trophy but football being what it is, we just have to accept the results and plan how we are going to recover as a team,” Makembo said.
Makembo said the Chipolopolo have potential to qualify for both the World Cup and the next Africa Cup of Nations after gaining experience at the tournament in Ivory Coast.