THE African Cup of Nations defending champions, Zambia's Chipolopolo are expected to jet in the country on Wednesday ahead of their friendly encounter against the national soccer team, Taifa Stars at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.
Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Information Officer, Boniface Wambura said that a 32-strongman delegation will arrive evening aboard Precision Airways from Lusaka.
Wambura said the delegation will comprise 24 players and eight officials including the technical bench chief, Herve Renard, who boasts of a record to lead the side winning the title in Gabon last year.
He named players making up the list as Chintu Kampamba, Chisamba Lungu, skipper Christopher Katongo, Danny Munyau, Davy Kaumbwa, Derrick Mwansa, Evans Kangwa, Felix Katongo and Francis Kasonde.
Others are Given Singuluma, Hichani Himonde, Isaac Chansa, James Chamanga, Jimmy Chisenga, Jonas Sakuwaha, Joshua Titima, Kalililo Kakonje, Moses Phiri, Mukuka Mulenga, Rainford Kalaba, Rodrick Kabwe, Salulani Phiri, Shadrack Malambo and Stoppila Sunzu.
However, two of the Chipolopolo winning team in defender Stopilla Sunzu and midfielder Rainford Kalaba together with Egyptian Mohammed Aboutrika will travel to Accra Ghana before the game as they are running for the CAF award.
Coach Renard is also expected to leave for Accra, Ghana for the GLO CAF awards ceremony together with Sunzu and Kalaba, with the Frenchman a clear favourite to win the CAF coach of the year award.
The duo along with their coach will fly direct to Tanzania after tomorrow's awards ceremony in Accra. Renard is happy that two Zambian players were competing for such high honours in Africa and was hopeful all the awards will come to Zambia.
He was also quoted by the Post of Zambia as saying his players have continued with preparations ahead of the international friendly match against Taifa Stars. Football Association of Zambian (FAZ) have lined up the match to gauge the team's readiness before launching the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title defence in South Africa next year as well as provide the Tanzanian outfit a strength-testing platform.
Kenyan referee Sylvester Kirwa has been picked to handle the match. Kirwa, a FIFA badge referee, will be assisted by countrymen Elias Wamalwa and Marwa Range who are also FIFA recognized officials.
Meanwhile, national team sponsors, Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL) through their Kilimanjaro Premium Lager brand have organized a special concert that would bring together Taifa Stars players, the coaching staff and soccer fans at the TCC Chang'ombe grounds in Dar es Salaam on Friday.
Kilimanjaro Premium Lager Brand Manager George Kavishe said the sponsor will use the occasion to officially introduce the national team to its fans. The concert has been scheduled to start at 4.00 p.m. Kavishe promised a blend of entertainments including performances by renowned local artistes and urged Dar es Salaam dwellers to turn up in big number and show support to their team.