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…Zambia won’t be mere participants at the AFCON, says Patson Daka 

…Zambia won’t be mere participants at the AFCON, says Patson Daka 


CHIPOLOPOLO striker Patson Daka has warned that Zambia will not just be participants at the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations AFCON set to kick off on January 13 in Ivory Coast.

It is not by fluke that the Chipolopolo qualified for the AFCON, Daka said in an interview after he scored the lone goal which helped Zambia hold Cameroon to a 1-1 stalemate in an international friendly match played on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia. 

Zambia will compete in Group F at the AFCON alongside neighbours Congo DR, Tanzania and 2022 World Cup semifinalists Morocco.

Daka, who features for English Championship giants Leicester City said the Chipolopolo will do everything possible to achieve their objectives at the AFCON. 

“We don’t expect it to be easy but one thing I can say is that we are going to do everything possible to achieve our target because we are going there not just to be participants but we are going there to compete.  

We are going there for a reason and we didn’t qualify just by mistake so we are going there not to have pressure but to enjoy and give everything we can to make sure that we achieve our targets,” Daka said.

Daka said the international friendly match against Cameroon exposed where the Chipolopolo will need to work on to be prepared fully for the AFCON.

The Chipolopolo striker will be making his debut at the senior Africa Cup of Nations as Zambia returns to the continental stage after missing the last three editions.

Daka said competing at the senior AFCON will be a dream come true for him as he has always dreamed of competing at the continental championship.

“I have been waiting for the senior AFCON for a long time and the day we qualified it was really an amazing feeling and until now I can’t believe it I’m really glad that it has happened and I just pray that we are going to be in good health together as a team to play so that we start the tournament all in good health. I just look forward to experience this big stage,” Daka said.

Meanwhile, Chipolopolo coach Avram Grant said his players are in a better shape after a few weeks of preparing for the AFCON. 

Grant said he was happy with the way the Chipolopolo boys played against the Indomitable Lions.

“The game was good for us, very tough game very aggressive.  I think it was good for us and we also gave them a tough time I was happy with the boys, they fought hard. We could have won. I think the result is less important because from the performance we could see that the boys gave everything,” Grant said.

The Chipolopolo are today set to fly to San Pedro to kick start their Ivory Coast AFCON campaign.

Zambia will play DR Congo on January 17 in San Pedro before facing Tanzania four days later. Zambia’s final Group F match is scheduled for January 24 against Morocco, the favourites.


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