FAZ president Andrew Kamanga believes the year 2023 will bring better fortunes in Zambian football.
In his latest column called the President’s Corner, Kamanga said after ending the year on a good note, Zambia looked destined to have a successful year In the New Year.
Kamanga said with the hiring of National Team Coach Avram Grant which has been received well in the country, the Chipolopolo may move to the next level.
The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) which will be held in January 2024 was obviously heavy on his mind after the men’s senior national team’s failure to make the finals for the last three outings.
“Encouragingly, all looks set to get us into the next year on a flying start. On Thursday, we unveiled the new Chipolopolo coach, Mr. Avram Grant whose appointment has been warmly welcomed across the football landscape.
“More than just the positive vibes his appointment has created, we are more confident that his solid credentials will spur the Chipolopolo to the next level,” Kamanga said.
Kamanga said there was enough time for the new-look technical bench to prepare against Lesotho in the back-to-back fixtures when the Africa Cup qualifiers resume in March.
He added that Grant’s appointment would not only reboot the senior team but had put all the national teams in safe hands.
Kamanga said the under-20 national team would be given adequate preparations to compete at the Africa Cup that Would be staged in Egypt, especially that the tournament would also act as a 2023 U20 World Cup qualifier.
“We will afford them an international camp just like we did for the 2017 AFCON winning side. The technical bench will provide a roadmap that we will work with. The under-17 is also AFCON- bound although their tournament will be held mid-next year,” he said.
He said with the senior women’s national team already holding a ticket to the World Cup, only the under-23 and the Chipolopolo were remaining to complete participation in major tournaments at all levels
“The under-23 has a two-legged final round battle with Egypt before carning qualification to the AFCON. We already have the Copper Queens that will be at the FIFA World Cup in July/August. Their training schedule commenced this year and will become intense as we draw closer to the competition,” Kamanga said.