8 February 2013

Zambia: Support 2019 Afcon Bid - Kalenga

SPORTS Council of Zambia (SCZ) vice chairperson Mwamba Kalenga says there is need for every Zambian to rally behind Government's plan to bid for the hosting of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.

Kalenga said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that he welcomed Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili's decision to have the country bid for the 2019 AFCON edition as it had been long overdue.

He said hosting of the AFCON tournament had eluded Zambia for a long time with the 1988 bid ending in the demolition of the Dag Hammarskjold Stadium in Ndola.

"Every Zambian should rally behind the minister's plan for the country to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals. It has been long overdue and I fully support his idea because we have the capacity to host such a tournament," he said.

He said by 2019, Zambia would have enough stadia to host the tournament as the Lusaka Stadium would have been completed to supplement the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

Kalenga said the construction of more stadia in Livingstone and Mongu would put the nation in a good position to host the AFCON finals.

He said there were also good stadia in Kitwe and Chingola which needed improvement before staging the tournament.

Kalenga said there was need for Zambians to rally behind the bid especially that the political will from Government was encouraging.

Kambwili on Monday announced intentions to bid for the hosting of the 2019 AFCON finals but that he would firstly need to present the matter before Cabinet for approval.

Several stakeholders have supported the move with Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Kalusha Bwalya saying the move is welcome and that he was confident of the country putting up a convincing and persuasive bid.

Others who have come out in the open to support the plan include Zambia Football Coaches Association (ZAFCA) president Patrick Kangwa, Referees Association of Zambia (RAZ) president Welly Chikuka and soccer fans bodies that include the Chipolopolo Soccer Fans Association (CSFA) and Zambia Soccer Fans Association (ZSFA).

Morocco will host the 2015 edition with Libya taking up the 2017 final having failed to do so this year due to the political instability.

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