21 November 2012

Zambia to Play Saudi Arabia

THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has arranged for an international friendly match against Saudi Arabia next month.

According to sources at Football House, FAZ wrote to their Saudi Arabian counterparts seeking a friendly match that would see a locally assembled side play the friendly match that would be played on a non-FIFA sanctioned date.

The Zambian team would thus comprise mainly of locally based players, who will be aiming at claiming for a position at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and also preparing for the 2014 African Championship of Nations (CHAN) qualifier against Botswana.

Zambia will play guest to Botswana on the weekend of June 23 with the return leg set for the weekend of July 7.

The game against Saudi Arabia, who held Argentina to a barren draw last week, comes in the wake of the failed 10-day India training trip, sponsored by Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).

"The deal has already been clinched except for the two associations agreeing on the date.

It's a done deal though the Saudi Arabia Football Federation desire was to play against a full strength Chipolopolo side but that would prove difficult as most of the players would be busy with their respective clubs," the sources said.

The sources said the Saudi Arabian Football Federation offered to take care of all of the team expenses for the trip and that what remains is for the two associations to agree on the date for the match adding that the game would greatly help coach Herve Renard assess the local players before naming his final squad to defend the Africa Cup of Nations trophy in South Africa.

"A friendly match has been arranged for the Zambia CHAN team and might see other foreign based players whose league are on recess join the squad that would be aiming at claiming for a place at the 2013 AFCON edition," the sources said.

The sources said plans were underway to have as many preparatory matches for the Chipolopolo arranged to defend the title in South Africa and also some games were being organised to keep the local players in shape.

Meanwhile, the Chipolopolo Soccer Fans Association (CSFA) has organised a fundraising walk this Saturday intended to raise money to send about 100 fans to go and cheer the Chipolopolo during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa.

CSFA general Secretary Peter Chishala said in a statement yesterday that the money to be raised would be used towards accommodation, food and pledges for the duration of the competition.

Chishala said the walk would start from the Kabwe roundabout at 08:30 hours and will march to Arcades Shopping Mall via Manda Hill Shopping Complex.

He said CSFA was the umbrella body of soccer fans in the country with the core business of supporting the national soccer team as represented in various age groups including the senior teams.

Chishala said in doing so the association has found itself handicapped in many areas and thus the call on corporate world to come forward to assist CSFA to send as many fans to South Africa to cheer the team.

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