THE Zambia Football Coaches Association (ZAFCA) has appealed to the corporate world to help it raise US$89,000 to charter a plane to ferry fans to South Africa.
The mission is to cheer the national team in the crunch 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group C match against Burkina Faso.
ZAFCA president Patrick Kangwa said in Lusaka yesterday that the Chipolopolo were in dire need of support from the fans, especially that the squad was faced with a must-win situation.
Kangwa said it was regrettable that in the first AFCON group match against Ethiopia, there were few fans to cheer Zambia while their opponents' spirits were lifted by the huge crowd in the stands and managed to pull off a shocking draw.
"In the game against Nigeria, things changed as there were more fans in the stands for Zambia. I must reveal here that the increased number of fans was as a result of Barrick Gold Lumwana who assisted us with $89,500 to charter a plane to send 100 fans.
"This money was put together in just two days and we believe that even this time, this can be done. So to our corporate world, we are asking them to help us charter a plane that will send as many as 400 for this very important game," he said.
He said ZAFCA and the Chipolopolo Soccer Fans Association (CSFA) got together and requested Barrick Lumwana to help charter a plane that gave the squad a 12th player in the match against Nigeria.
Asked why the appeal had come at short notice, Kangwa said CSFA and the coaches body were shocked that many Zambians expected to make the trip to South Africa did not travel as was seen during the game against Ethiopia.
He said when this problem was noticed, ZAFCA decided to team up with CSFA to go out and ask for sponsorship of a plane as well as Government for the match tickets which were "gracefully" given.
Kangwa said while it was clear that fans wanted to travel for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final games, there was an immediate problem at hand in Burkina Faso which needed urgent attention.
"We understand the fans want to travel for the quarter-finals and games after that, but we have to face a real problem just in front of us.
"So as others plan for the quarters, semis and finals, we are asking the corporate world to help for the Burkina Faso must-win game," Kangwa said.