SOME soccer fans have expressed mixed feelings over the Chipolopolo's draw in the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group C opening match against a 10-man Ethiopia.
But Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Kalusha Bwalya said a victory for the Chipolopolo would eventually come at the ongoing AFCON tournament in South Africa and predicted a classic encounter against Nigeria on Friday.
Zambia drew 1-1 with a 10-man Ethiopia in the first AFCON Group C match at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Monday.
Despite the shocking draw against the Walya Antelopes, Kalusha said he was happy with the Chipolopolo's overall performance and that a win would eventually come for Zambia.
According to a statement posted by FAZ on their social network facebook wall, Kalusha said the association had accepted the result against Ethiopia and were now looking forward to the Nigeria match.
"I thought I saw a good Zambia team. We had a lot of possession and control of the match. We had better chances but we missed the finer-touch in front of goal. A win will come. Ethiopia kept coming at us, got one chance and levelled the score. We have accepted the result and should look forward to the next match on Friday against Nigeria. It will be a classic," he said.
And Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu has commended soccer fans in the country for behaving maturely and responsibly during the Chipolopolo match against Ethiopia.
Lungu said the fans remained united and celebrated as one despite their different political, social, economic and cultural groupings.
He said the conduct showed a sense of oneness and unity.
The minister, who attributed the loss of lives during last year's edition to 'over excitement', said the incidents that occurred were recorded in the aftermath of every game despite the Chipolopolo recording wins.
He said lessons were learnt and that the ministry would not allow a recurrence of such accidents.
"In this vein, I urge soccer loving Zambians to avoid leaving their homes and flocking to the streets or roads and blocking the flow of traffic every time our national eam recorded a win, draw or loss as this may lead to a breakdown of law and order", Lungu said.
Lungu also appealed to motorists to adhere to traffic rules and regulations by avoiding over-speeding, undue spin out or skidding of vehicles.
He reminded motorists that drunk and driving was a serious offence which put their lives and that of pedestrians at risk.
Lungu has since advised Inspector General of Police, Stella Libongani to ensure measures are put in place to curb any unruly behaviour by soccer fans.
And CHALI MULENGA reports that a Livingstone soccer fan, Peter Mwale, said Zambia coach Herve Renard should have substituted skipper Christopher Katongo earlier in the match and questioned the removal of defender Joseph Musonda for striker Jacob Mulenga.
Mwale observed that the Chipolopolo missed a lot of scoring chances and were made to pay dearly by an Ethiopian side that never gave up.
Another fan, Friday Nkonde said there was need for the title holders to be proactive if they were to defend the championship.
But Sibilo Lubinda said lack of adequate information on their opponents led to the Chipolopolo failing to play their game, hence the draw.
Lubinda, however, said Zambia still had a chance to make amends and qualify to the quarter-final stage.