Zambia: Football Association of Zambia welcomes their week’s column. They initiated the column by appreciating Copper Queen’s journey at the 2023 FIFA World Cup.
However, it ended last week on Monday after beating Costa Rica 3-1 for the team to at least bow out on a high. They have spent the last few days reviewing the tournament and will do less this week. However, it would be unfair not to give a few insights here as we wind down this subject.
It is very easy to forget that the Copper Queens were making their debut at the FIFA World Cup and became the first senior Zambia National Team to qualify for the world cup. It would not be very disappointing for debutants if your scorecard reads like two losses and a victory.
The two losses came against tournament heavies Spain and Japan, light years ahead of Zambia. We can only build from this point onwards. Having qualified for two Women’s Africa Cup of Nations consecutively and represented Africa at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games before the monumental qualification to the world cup, we can have a reason to believe something great is happening in our game.
FAZ said, “We do not discount the fact that there are many things we could have done better to make our campaign smoother. All these things will be addressed internally and externally with other stakeholders to ensure we continuously improve.”
The Copper Queens can now look to reboot and focus on the WAFCON and Olympic qualifiers ahead. The next few months will launch a new phase in the journey and composition of the Copper Queens.
Away from the women’s game, the Chipolopolo have a concluding Group H AFCON qualifying fixture against Comoros next month that will take us yet another step in preparations for the tournament we have already qualified for, said FAZ.
The Avram Grant-led technical bench has already submitted a tentative program that covers AFCON preparations and the FIFA World Cup preparations. The World Cup qualifiers await the fixtures guide to tailor the preparations to the opposition.
“We have already engaged the government on the roadmap and budget for the AFCON to ensure that we leave no stone unturned in ensuring that our lads are well prepared for the tournament. One aspect that stands at the top of our priority list is quality preparations.”
Finally, the Charity Shield is on this weekend in Ndola, where league champions Power Dynamos will face ABSA Cup champions Forest Rangers at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium. We hope the Charity Shield will set the tone for an exciting season ahead, with some niggling problems like stadium safety and security expected to be less problematic this season.
FAZ will be quick to bring down the hammer on teams that fail to provide security at their matches. With CAF and FIFA sanitizing the game by setting very high standards in terms of safety and security, we cannot afford to lag like Zambia. Our league needs to match the high standards that it is held in on the continent and beyond.