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Zambia vs Norway; More than Just a Friendly Match – Culmination of Friendship
- Updated: January 3, 2013
Norway’s visit to play a friendly with Zambia in Ndola will be the first by a Scandinavian national side. It is the first time in history that the two national teams play against each other anywhere, and the match is a good illustration of the many years of close cooperation between Zambia and Norway.
Norway supports Zambia’s Sport in Action, the first Zambian sports NGO; the Norwegian peace corps has an ongoing project with Sport in Action that facilitates cultural exchange between Norway and Zambia. Every year Norwegian youths work for the organisation for ten months. The Norwegian Embassy also supports production of African footballs made in Zambia by the organisation Alive and Kicking. The organisation creates sustainable employment through the manufacture of sports balls.
Zambia will fly into Ndola from Johannesburg where they will be camped just to play this game then immediately head back to South Africa.
Both the Norwegian and the Zambian national teams moved forward in this years FIFA-ranking. The Norwegian team advances up to places from 22nd to 24th, and the Zambian team advances up five places, from 39th to 34th place.
Norway has participated three times in the FIFA World Cup (1938, 1994, 1998), and once in the European Championship (2000).
Earlier in the ground-breaking year of 2012, the World Record of the longest football match which was held by Japan was broken by Zambia and Norway. The two teams played for 40 hours non stop from Friday 14th of September to Sunday 16th of September, 2012. A fantastic bunch of Zambian and Norwegian players can finally breathe and be happy to know their names will be entered in the Guinness Book of Records. It was incredibly good to know on the hand that all their hard work and sweat has helped to raise money for a youth sports centre at Breakthrough Sports Academy in Garden township, Zambia.
The Norwegian national football team has six players with an immigrant background for the first time ever. This is the first time in Norway’s football history when so many players were born in Norway but have different ethnicities and play on the national team. Six players: Mohammed Abdellaoue (Moroccan parents, born in Norway) , Alexander Tettey (born in Ghana), Daniel Braaten (Nigerian father, born in Norway), Vadim Demidov (born in the former Soviet Union), Tarik Elyounoussi (born in Morocco) and Joshua King (whose father is from Gambia).
Some of the most famous Norwegnian footballers include Morten Gamst Pedersen, Brede Hangeland, John Arne Riise and Joshua King (who now plays for Blackburn Rovers having moved from Manchester United this week).
Top appearances for Norway are led by Riise followed by Henning Berg. John Alieu Carew and Henning Stille Berg are not too far.
Henning Berg played as a central defender or right-back from 1988 until 2004, most notably in the Premier League where he won titles with both Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United, thus becoming the first player to win the Premier League with two different clubs. John Carew moved to Spanish club Valencia in a €8.5 million transfer, where Carew managed to win the La Liga title twice. Carew was part of the Valencia side that lost on penalties in the 2001 UEFA Champions League Final, though scoring on his attempt. His goals in that campaign were crucial, including a 75th minute header in a 1–0 home win against Arsenal in the second leg of the quarter-final, which saw Valencia advance to the semi-final. In the 2002–03 Champions League campaign, Carew was once again responsible for the exit of Arsenal. With Valencia needing a win in their final game of the second group phase at home against Arsenal to progress to the quarter finals, Carew scored twice in a 2–1 victory. Brede Paulsen Hangeland is a Norwegian footballer who plays for and is the captain of Fulham in the Premier League and the Norwegian national team, of which he is also the captain. He plays as a central defender. The tall Norwegian with his characteristic calm nature is known for combining great aerial ability and physical strength with elegant technique and passing ability. Morten Gamst Pedersen plays for Blackburn Rovers.
The official jerseys for Norway are red with black crosses, the shorts are white and the stockings re blue.