CHIPOLOPOLO captain, Christopher Katongo has been appointed Stanbic Bank Zambia ambassador for next year's Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals to be hosted by South Africa.
Katongo will join the bank in celebrating the countdown to the up-coming continental football showpiece starting on January 19 to February 10, 2013.
According to a statement released by Stanbic Bank head - marketing and communications, Kamiza Chikula, Katongo will act as Stanbic Bank Zambia's football ambassador in the tournament's official Trophy Tour.
Standard Bank is the exclusive sponsor of the Trophy Tour.
"With the Orange Africa Cup of Nations, South Africa 2013 to be staged in five South African cities from January 19 to 10 February next year, Standard Bank is giving football fans around Zambia the opportunity to get up close to the coveted trophy at selected venues," Chikula said.
He said members of the public will be given the opportunity to take photographs with the trophy and Katongo as well as talk to him about his AFCON experiences.
"It was a great honour for me to play in the Africa Cup of Nations and I know what this trophy means to each and every player across the continent. Representing your country on this stage is the ultimate."
"I am really looking forward to taking this trophy across Zambia in partnership with Stanbic Bank and meeting the fans.
Our people are so passionate about their football and I can feel the excitement already of us welcoming these fantastic players and their fans from all around the African continent," Katongo said.
Chikula said Standard Bank, also trading as Stanbic Bank, will take the Orange AFCON, South Africa 2013 Trophy Tour to 11 African cities namely; Kitwe, Ndola and Lusaka in Zambia; Mbabane and Piggs Peak in Swaziland; Walvis Bay and Swakopmund in Namibia, will complement the South African leg of the Tour.
Chikula said Standard Bank is the official financial services sponsor of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations, South Africa 2013 and the Trophy Tour.
He added that the Africa Cup Tour is a successfully established initiative by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the bank to present "Africa's Cup" to fans in the run-up to the event.
The 2008 tournament in Ghana and the 2010 event in Angola were also supported by Standard Bank Trophy Tours.
Standard Bank signed as the official financial services sponsor to CAF in December 2008, confirming its commitment to African football.
Chikula said the decision to partner with CAF was driven by Standard Bank's growing presence as a leading African bank, with a heritage that stretches back 150 years.
"We are delighted to have the trophy back in Zambia after hosting successful Stanbic Bank Trophy Tours in the country ahead of previous Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.
"The Orange Africa Cup of Nations is a tournament steeped in history and over the past 55 years of competition we have seen some memorable tournaments. This Stanbic Bank Trophy Tour is the start of what we hope will be another great memory for the continent and further proof of South Africa's tremendous ability to host major international competitions."
"We see this as a major opportunity to connect with our customers, football fans and our employees through our shared passion for Africa and African football. It will allow them an opportunity to become part of the South Africa 2013 tournament and share their love for the game," Chikula said.