Soccer News of Friday, 21 June 2013

Source: Raymond Yeboah

Ghana are playboys to Zambia -Minister

THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has assured that the national team will be adequately prepared for a must-win 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifier against Ghana.

FAZ communications manager Erick Mwanza said at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the association is aware of the importance of the match in Kumasi and would ensure the team gets the best preparations. Mwanza said Zambia’s chances of making a maiden appearance at the World Cup are still bright despite a frustrating 1-all draw with Sudan at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola last Saturday.

“We have already told the players to put themselves in the winning mood and work hard. We are confident of beating Ghana in Kumasi to stay on course of going to Brazil,” Mwanza said.

He said people should not lose confidence in the team after the Saturday result because the Chipolopolo are still capable of beating any team including Ghana. Mwanza said previous matches indicate that Zambia has got an edge over Ghana and the Chipolopolo will ride on that record to get a positive result in Kumasi.

He advised fans wishing to travel to Ghana to approach Football House for guidance.

He said it is important that fans liaise with FAZ to enable the association get enough match tickets for the travelling supporters. And Mwanza said FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya and coach Herve Renard are grateful to the fans for rallying behind the team last Saturday. He said the support from fans inspired the team although the Chipolopolo failed to win.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Sport and Youth Chinga Miyutu has called for determination from national team players ahead of the match against Ghana. Miyutu said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that with determination the Black Stars could fall in Kumasi on September 8. He said Zambia has an edge over Ghana having beaten the West Africans twice last year. Zambia beat Ghana 1-0 in the semi-finals at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Bata, Equatorial Guinea on February 8 and a similar margin in the 2014 World Cup qualifier in Ndola on June 9.

“We have played Ghana before. We have beaten them in several crucial games. They [Ghana] are a playboy to us not even are they [Ghana] a threat to us,” Miyutu said.

He is optimistic the Chipolopolo will qualify to the last round of the qualifiers and subsequently to the World Cup finals.

Zambia are second in Group D with 11 points, one behind rivals Ghana. Lesotho and Sudan have two points each.

Zambia need an outright win in Kumasi to cruise to the last round while Ghana need a draw.