Zambia: Football Association of Zambia held a Labour Day salutation to all the football followers of nation. It is a week coming off the back of the 30th Gabon disaster anniversary, and the under-17 boys’ team is kicking off their AFCON campaign against Nigeria.
“The Gabon Memorial being the 30th commemoration, was led by the government through the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts, and they gladly joined forces. As FAZ, we have religiously kept to keeping the memory of our fallen heroes alive. We have also taken note of the ideas around keeping the memory of our fallen heroes beyond the annual commemoration”, said FAZ.
Furthermore, they asserted, “Most notably, the appeal by the families to the government, who are the custodians of the memorial site, to give it a facelift is worth taking up. From the football side, the announcement of a team from FIFA coming to Zambia to honour the fallen heroes with plans of a documentary adds to some of the long-term plans that we have.”
The plans to launch a football museum remain on course as we believe this will fully document this part of our history and many other incidences worth of our history. In doing all this, we have been engaging the families through their chosen representatives and will duly keep them updated, said FAZ.
FAZ also noted, our under-17 lads suffered a 1-0 defeat to Nigeria in their opening match, a match they fought valiantly to deserve a little better. We have no doubt that with two remaining matches, they will bounce back and earn qualification to the next round. With age group competitions, the focus is not just on winning but also grooming well-rounded stars for the future. The experience of competing amongst the finest on the continent will leave the players not just exposed but prepared for bigger assignments.
Given the level of talent that we have been grooming from the under-15 national team to now, we believe that the team’s target of the world cup qualification remains in focus. We urge the nation to rally behind the boys as they go about their business in Algeria. Zambia plays South Africa on Wednesday before closing the campaign against Morocco on Saturday.
Finally, our season is nearing the end in the next few weeks, with stakes very high among the possible winners and losers. We have noted increasing incidences of crowd trouble and violence that tend to dent our game. We expect that our judicial bodies will swing into action to stem these incidences that have the potential to cast our game in a bad light. Our expectation is that clubs do not abdicate their responsibility to provide safety and security during matches. As FAZ, we will endeavour to abide by our set standard of ensuring that all pending cases are cleared long before the season ends, said FAZ.