Zambia: The Zambian mission in Egypt has visited the under-20 Men’s National Team camp in Ismailia with Ambassador Major General Toply Lubaya urging the boys to make the nation proud.
During the visit to the Tolip Forsan Resort in Ismailia, Lubaya, who was represented by Counsellor for Tourism Jessie Simukoko and Gavin Muyangwa, said he would be at the opening match in Alexandria to support the boys.
Lubaya said football was a uniting factor for the Zambian people and urged the team to work hard. He also said that while he expected the boys to deliver results, he advised the boys to enjoy themselves.
“Even as we are applying this pressure for you to win, you should also enjoy the game,” Lubaya said. Furthermore, he added, “For each game, there will be at least two diplomats that will be coming to support you. We have a small team of students in Alexandria, so we will be many as we are to support you in Egypt.”
He also congratulated the team and technical bench for having worked hard to earn qualification for the tournament. And delegation leader Colins Mukwala said the team had settled well in Egypt since arriving on February 10.
Mukwala thanked the mission for taking an interest in the welfare of the team in Egypt. Coach Chisi Mbewe thanked the Zambians for supporting the team as they built up for the tournament.
In a vote of thanks, captain Rickson Ng’ambi said the squad would make the nation proud. “We thank you for the support, even the support we have received from home; we feel the support from the people of Zambia and through the Football Association of Zambia and the government. Otherwise, so far, so good; everyone is pushing and working hard, and we are ready to make Mother Zambia happy,” said Ng’ambi.
The team is in Ismailia and will relocate to Alexandria on Saturday, where they will be based for the tournament. Zambia’s opening match is on February 21 against Benin before taking on The Gambia three days later.
The final Group C match will be on February 27 in Cairo against Tunisia. The top two teams in the group will qualify for the quarterfinals, with the semi-finalists making it to the FIFA World Cup to be hosted by Indonesia.