By MICHAEL MIYOBA
FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Andrew Kamanga has congratulated the Zambia Under-17 Women’s national team for starting the Dominican Republic 2024 FIFA Under-17 World Cup qualifiers with a bang by humiliating Tanzania 5-0 in the first leg played on Saturday at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
Kamanga has cautioned the Carol Kanyemba drilled young Copper Queens not to relax because the job is not done.
“The girls have another 90 minutes ahead to finish off the job with another round looming. Our message to them is that they should not be complacent but remain focused ahead of the return leg in Tanzania,” Kamanga said.
“The motivation to play at the FIFA World Cup should spur these girls to fight even harder. They do not need to look too far for inspiration as their seniors were at the World Cup in New Zealand not too long ago. We have not relented in our commitment to ensure that the grassroots remain a core part of our strategic plan. A successful youthful structure provides a strong base for our national teams. The benefits may not be visible now, but with time, some of the promising young talents will make it to the top,” he said.
Kamanga also hailed the technical bench for selecting a formidable side consisting of players from all the ten provinces of the country.
Meanwhile, the FAZ Chief confirmed that the Copper Queens will be back on duty later this month with crucial back-to-back Paris 2024 Olympic qualifiers against Ghana.
Zambia will be away on February 23 before hosting the Black Queens five days later in Ndola with the winner over the two-legged fixture facing Tunisia or Morocco in the final round of the qualifiers.
“It is an opportunity for the Copper Queens to make history with back-to-back qualification to the Olympics. Having already played at the FIFA World Cup and minted bronze at the WAFCON, the Copper Queens will be looking to update their already assured legacy,” Kamanga said.
He said FAZ will always keep the preparatory side of business top notch in line with the program presented by the technical bench.
On the Chipolopolo who are set to regroup next month for an international friendly match ahead of the June FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Kamanga said; “The technical bench is working in the background to draft a program for the Chipolopolo. We will keep working and ensure that building on the gains of the AFCON campaign.”