26 December 2012

Zambia: Army Honours Katongo

CHIPOLOPOLO's kipper Christopher Katongo has continued receiving accolades with the Zambia Army honouring the Warrant Officer Class 1 with an army trophy in recognition of his winning the 2012 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) African Footballer-of-the-Year.

The colourful ceremony held at the Arakan Barracks in Lusaka on Monday evening saw the Zambia Army Deputy Commander Major General Toply Lubaya present a trophy and other gifts to Katongo.

Other beneficiaries were former Green Buffaloes players Nathan Sinkala and Felix Katongo, who in absentia were also presented with trophies and a bouquet of flowers for their contribution to Zambian football.

The ceremony was attended by senior army officers, Sports Council of Zamia (SCZ) vice chairperson, Mwamba Kalenga and board member Smart Mwitwa, Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) spokesperson Erick Mwanza and the Green Buffaloes players and coaches.

And Lubaya said Katongo's crowning as the BBC African Player-of-the-Year could not pass with recognition as the player has brought glory not only to the Zambia Army but the entire sub region.

He also congratulated the Chipolopolo for being crowned 2012 Africa best team and also voted second best team in the World.

"Let me congratulate you on your award. Warrant Officer Katongo, your newly found status should not make you complacent, instead it should inspire you to gunner for more sports accolades. I want to urge you to put an extra ounce of effort in your future national assignments," he said.

Lubaya remained Katongo that the nation was expectant of a positive outcome during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa and expressed confidence that the Chipolopolo will go on to defend the title.

"I am confident that you are going to defend the AFCON title and subsequently gun to beat the reigning World Champions Spain during the Confederations Cup on Brazil in June next year," he said.

Katongo thanked the Zambia Army command for the gesture and promised to work hard to ensure more glory and success would be brought to the country.

"This is encouraging and I will never forget what you have done for me. My heart is rejoicing as I speak and let me promise you that this is not the last time but more is yet to come from me," said an elated Katongo amidst cheers from his former Buffaloes players and coaches.

Kalenga said the year ending 2012 has been a fantastic year for Zambia as evidenced by the number of achievements recorded and urged other players to emulate Katongo by aiming at winning more accolades.

"Let other players emulate Katongo by having a winning attitude like him by ensuring that they become a fighter like Katongo. He is not the best but God's time is," he said.

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