…Sports PS Kangwa says as Makembo give Chipolopolo heroes send off
By MICHAEL MIYOBA
THE Chipolopolo boys will pull off a surprise at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) kicking off on January 13 in Ivory Coast, says Ministry of Sports, Youth and Arts Permanent Secretary Kangwa Chileshe.
Kangwa said the Chipolopolo boys will not be under pressure as they are deemed to be the underdogs in Group F which include 2022 World Cup semifinalists, Morocco, Tanzania and Congo DR.
He said the underdog tag will work to Zambia’s advantage because pressure is on teams that are considered favourites.
“Zambians are excited, they are expectant and I know the boys are also excited and expectant and I think they are going to pull off a surprise. Yes, they are going in as underdogs but that can be an advantage as well because the pressure is on the ones that are expected to be the top dogs so let them go in let them take their time, let them put up a good game and do their best and we as government, we will support them,” Kangwa said.
He said Government will reward the Chipolopolo boys based on how far they will go at the AFCON where they will face Congo DR in their first match on January 17.
“As government we are playing our part and we will continue to reward them with winning bonuses even as they ascend at the ladder. The higher they go, obviously the more the winning bonuses will be,” Kangwa said.
Meanwhile, the Chipolopolo boys were on Tuesday night handed a heroes’ send off by Zambia Sports Fans Association led by patron Peter Makembo and his band.
The Chipolopolo left for Saudi Arabia for their pre-AFCON international camp in Jeddah where they will play two international friendly matches as part of the buildup for the tournament that kicks off on January 13 in Ivory Coast.
Speaking in an interview after sending of the team, Makembo encouraged the Chipolopolo boys not to be intimidated by teams which are considered favourites to win the AFCON.
Makembo encouraged the Chipolopolo boys to put God first as they begin the journey to reclaim their status as the giants of Africa.
He reaffirmed the fans’ commitment to give the team the support needed to motivate them to deliver according to people’s expectations.