CHIPOLOPOLO captain Chris Katongo has said Zambia has nothing to prove against South Africa's Bafana Bafana when the two sides clash in the Mandela Challenge Cup on Wednesday night.
Katongo said at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka yesterday before departure for South Africa that Zambia were reigning African Champions and thus had nothing to prove against their hosts.
Despite admitting that the match would be tough especially that South Africa under new coach Gordon Igesund wanted to prove something against the African Champions, Katongo said the game would accord the players an opportunity to link up and make some strategies.
"The match would be tough but I don't think we have anything to prove against our Southern African rivals as we are African Champions. The match would give us the chance to meet as a team and play the game," he said.
Chipolopolo assistant coach Honour Janza said Zambia needed to beat South Africa to preserve the title of being continental kings.
Janza said it would be good for the Chipolopolo to win and uphold the status of African Champions because every team wanted to beat Zambia, thus the need to take each match with the seriousness it deserves.
"We shall be expected to put in our best and build on the many challenges that lie ahead. This is a high profile friendly match and we need to carry the day as everybody out there wants to beat us.
"Such games are also important as they help in preparing for the future but most importantly we need to be ready to defend our title because everyone wants to beat Zambia unlike at the last edition where we went as underdogs," he said.
Janza, who is also FAZ technical director, said playing such a friendly match against South Africa was a huge boost to the team's preparations adding that it would give the coaching bench the chance to assess players.
He also encouraged young players to fight for places saying there was a chance that some players, who were not regulars might be given the chance to play.
On Rainford Kalaba, who has recovered from injury, Janza said the coaching bench was waiting to hear from the Zambian team doctors after they assess the player.
Janza expressed confidence that other players would ably fill the void should Kaluba not be 100 per cent fit.
Team doctor Joseph Kabungo said he would only be able to assess Kalaba when the player reports for camp in South Africa today and declared a clean bill of health among players summoned to duty after the weekend matches.
FAZ committee member Richard Kazala, who is the delegation leader, left with Danny Munyau, Joshua Titima, Mukuka Mulenga, Katongo, James Chamanga and Isaac Chansa.
Meanwhile, Kickoff reports that Bafana Bafana coach Igesund could be forced to make changes to his squad ahead of the Nelson Mandela Challenge against Zambia.
Orlando Pirates duo Siyabonga Sangweni and Oupa Manyisa, who were selected for the Bafana squad,are struggling with injury.
Sangweni was withdrawn from Bucs' starting line-up yesterday after complaining of knee pain during the warm-up session ahead of the Free State Stars clash.
Manyisa was substituted by Manti Moholo in the second half due to a thigh injury.
Bucs coach Roger De Sa confirmed the injuries to both players.
"I don't know how serious the injuries are but they will only be going for a scan tomorrow," says De Sa.