Chipolopolo name squad for Uganda
Herve Renard has called 24 African champion superstars to begin Zambia’s defence of her Africa Cup crown when the Chipolopolo engage the Cranes of Uganda in the first leg of the final round of qualifying for next January’s Africa Cup finals.
Chinese based skipper Chris Katongo leads the 24 man crack squad which has included all of the Chipolopolo foreign legion domiciled in Europe.
Other inclusions include FC Utrecht top man Jacob Mulenga, Israeli based midfielder William Njobvu, FC Porto left back Emmanuel Mbola and Emmanuel Mayuka who is reportedly set for a switch from his Swiss club Young Boys to Queens Park Rangers in the Barclays Premiership.
The squad will camp in Ndola.
Zambia’s defence of the crown she won in February this year begins in earnest with the qualifying fixture against Uganda. The Chipolopolo are at home at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on Saturday 8th September before playing away in Kampala on the weekend of October 12 to 14.
As a result of the change of the Nations Cup calendar from even to odd years, the next continental finals will be hosted by South Africa in January and February of 2013.
Zambia won her maiden Nations Cup in Libreville on February 12 this year when the Chipolopolo beat the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire 8-7 on penalties after a goalless play over 120minutes.
“We are fully aware of the significance of this fixture. Our stated policy on preparing the Chipolopolo for competition matches is clear and has been very successful over the years. The President of FAZ Kalusha Bwalya has repeatedly emphasised Football House commitment to giving he team the best possible preparations so that we can maintain the highest levels of competition. We will be well prepared and ready for both games in Ndola and Kampala because our target is to go to South Africa for the defence of our crown,” said FAZ Communications Manager Erick Mwanza.
Last week the African champions were in Seoul to shape up for September’s Africa Cup qualifier; a match the FAZ President said was a wonderful experience for the boys and a “good practice match for Zambia as the country prepared for competition matches.”
Said Kalusha: “It was wonderful for our boys to come and play against a seasoned South Korean team which has excelled at World Cup level and has been champion in Asia. It was a good match for us to encounter.”
“It asks a lot of responsibility for the boys to be here (Korea). Overall, it was excellent preparation and we can take a lot of positives even in defeat. I strongly believe that Herve has taken many notes in readiness for our next international match which is the 2013 Africa Cup qualifier against Uganda next month,” the FAZ President said.
Mwanza said the full squad should be in Ndola after league and continental games on the weekend of September 1 and 2.
The Full squad:
Kennedy Mweene (Free State Stars, RSA), Joshua Titima (Power Dynamos, Zambia), Danny Munyau (Red Arrows, Zambia) , Davies Nkausu (SuperSport United, RSA), Emmanuel Mbola (FC Porto, Portugal), Joseph Musonda (Golden Arrows, RSA), Stoppila Sunzu (TP Mazembe, DRC), Hichani Himonde (TP Mazembe, DRC), Lawrence Phiri (FC Progresso, Angola), Chintu Kampamba (Bidvest Wits, RSA), Nathan Sinkala (TP Mazembe, DRC), William Njobvu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel), Thomas Nyirenda (Power Dynamos, Zambia), Noah Chivuta (Free State Stars, RSA), Isaac Chansa (Henan Jienye, China), Chisamba Lungu (FC Urals, Russia), Rainford Kalaba (TP Mazembe, DRC), Felix Katongo (Primero Agosto, Angola), Francis Kasonde (TP Mazembe, DRC), Chris Katongo (Henan Jienye, China), Jonas Sakuwaha (El Merreikh, Sudan), Jacob Mulenga (FC Utrecht, Netherlands), James Chamanga (Dalian Shide, China), Emmanuel Mayuka (Young Boys, Switzerland).