By MICHAEL MIYOBA
FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Andrew Kamanga says there are a lot of positives to build on from Zambia’s first round elimination at the ongoing TotalEnegies Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.
Zambia suffered an early exit after finishing third in Group F with two points collected from two consecutive draws against Congo DR and Tanzania and the 1-0 defeat to group winners Morocco.
Kamanga said the positives picked will see Zambia return a better side at the next edition slated for next year in Morocco with draws for the crucial qualifiers scheduled for next month.
“We are conscious of the cloud of disappointment hovering across our great nation after our first-round elimination from the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.
“It is very easy to be hard on ourselves and the Chipolopolo following the early exit but like every sport, we must pick ourselves up and focus on the upcoming tournaments,” Kamanga said.
The FAZ chief believes the crop of Chipolopolo players have picked up lessons from the AFCON which will be useful in the future.
“We came to this tournament on the back of having missed out on three editions and had to summon everything we had to be at par with the big guns on the continent.
Most of our players were making their debut appearance at the AFCON and needed the exposure on the big stage going forward. We will not delve into the technical review of the tournament just yet as the technical bench will duly present a report that will be reviewed. Overall, there are a lot of positives to build on from the tournament that will see us return better at the next edition.” He said.
Kamanga hailed Zambians who rallied behind the team during the tournament.
Meanwhile, Kamanga has urged Zambians to rally behind the Under-17 women’s national team which commences its FIFA World Cup qualification campaign this weekend.
Zambia will host Tanzania at Lusaka’s Nkoloma Stadium over the weekend before travelling for the reverse fixture.