OVER US$1, 000 (about K12, 500) was stolen from the national team at Maputo’s Afrin Hotel on Sunday before the 2016 Rwanda African Nations Championship (CHAN) last round return leg against Mozambique.
And national team coach George Lwandamina says there is need to play strong opposition ahead of the CHAN finals.
Delegation leader Lee Kawanu confirmed in an interview upon arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka yesterday that four players and an official lost US $1, 050.
Kawanu named the players as Spencer Sautu, Christopher Munthali, Jackson Chirwa and Toaster Nsabata and team physiotherapist Gibson Chaloba.
“All the victims lost different amounts but Toaster lost the highest amount of about US $300,” he said.
Kawanu said the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has engaged the Zambian High Commission in Mozambique to follow up the issue.
He said FAZ has since refunded the victims and the association will wait for investigations to be concluded.
Meanwhile, Lwandamina said in an interview in Maputo on Sunday that with adequate preparations, the Chipolopolo could perform to expectation at the Rwanda finals.
The Chipolopolo drew 1-1 with Mozambique at Machava Stadium to progress 4-1 on aggregate.
“We need adequate preparations and the players need enough exposure,” Lwandamina said.
He is upbeat the team will perform well at the January 16 to February 7 tournament.
“The players played well and according to instructions. We knew that Mozambique were going to come on us. we gave them enough space to waste their own time,” Lwandamina said.
He was impressed with debutant Mwape Mwelwa’s performance.
Chipolopolo skipper Jacob Banda is happy to have guided the team to the CHAN finals.
Striker Winston Kalengo said Zambia’s qualification to the CHAN finals has been long overdue.
Kalengo said the team’s target is to lift the CHAN trophy.
Forward Festus Mbewe is upbeat the Chipolopolo will perform to expectation in Rwanda.
Mozambique coach Helder ‘Mano Mano’ Muianga said his charges lost the game in Ndola.
“It is difficult to beat Zambia. We have played them [Zambia] 18 times and we have only managed three draws. That tells you a story of the quality of our opponents. they have won the Africa Cup before. Zambia is a giant in African football,” Muianga said.
He said the Mambas lack quality strikers.
Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development Ronald Chitotela said the future of Zambian football is bright.
“This is a sweet victory. The boys played very well. we have a young team. We have young players like Conlyde Luchanga who are hungry for success,” Chitotela said.
He said Government would support the Football Association of Zambia to develop the game.