TWO months before the 2026 World Cup qualifiers kick–off, Zambia faces the danger of playing home matches away from home as the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium and National Heroes do not appear on the list of approved stadiums.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has released a list of over 30 stadiums that have been approved to host the qualifiers that start in November but none of Zambia’s two national stadiums appear on the list.
Zambia are in Group E of the qualifiers, where they have been pitted against the 2022 World Cup semi–finalist Morocco, neighbors Tanzania, Congo Brazzaville, Eritrea, and Niger.
As it stands, Chipolopolo are like an orphaned child who may have to squat elsewhere for their home matches.
However, there is still some hope for Zambia as they may be granted permission to host the matches at home should the two venues pass the next phase of inspection.
“This list is specific for the FIFA World Cup 2026 African Qualifier matchday 1 & 2. The final list of approved stadiums for matchday 1 & 2 may be updated subject to the CAF stadium inspection procedure in place,” a citation from CAF read.
FAZ general secretary Reuben Kamanga was not available for a comment as his phone went unanswered.
Should Zambia be forced to play outside, there are a number of options where they can stage their home matches including in South Africa and Tanzania among others.
Zambia is scheduled to play their first game against Congo Brazzaville in what is supposed to be a home match in the second week of November before playing away to Niger.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 31st August, 2023)
Zambia Consolidates Top Spot At Africa Netball Cup
ZAMBIA has consolidated their place at the top of the table in the Africa Netball Cup after beating hosts Botswana 53-43 in their third game of the tournament.
The win was Zambia’s third straight victory having already seen off eSwatini and Namibia.
The team now has six points, two better than second placed Zimbabwe.
Zambia remains on course to qualify for the final play-off after the group stage is done.
The tournament is made up of six teams, playing each other in a round robin format. After the group stage, the top two teams will play in a final to determine the champions.
Zambia’s next opponent is Zimbabwe in what has been dubbed as the battle of the Zambezi.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 2nd December, 2023)
‘We are prepared to get three points,’ Forest coach Mwenya Chipepo eyes win against Power Dynamos
FOREST Rangers coach Mwenya Chipepo has said his side is prepared to collect three points against former employers Power Dynamos when the two teams meet at the weekend.
Chipepo who recently joined Forest from Power finds himself facing his former bosses, although it is unclear if he will sit on the bench as his clearance has not yet been issued.
Last week, Chipepo sat in the stands for what would have been his first game for Forest Rangers when they played to a 1 – all draw against Konkola Blades in Chililabomwe.
Looking to this weekend’s encounter, Chipepo has said his charges are prepared.
“We are going to play Power Dynamos,” Chipepo said, “they have good players at the moment they are playing very well but if I look at the way we have prepared here, we are prepared to get three points against Power Dynamos.”
Power and Forest are separated by six points. The Kitwe side sits sixth with 21 points.
Chipepo who guided Power to the title last season said he has a fairly good understanding of how his former side plays.
“I know the way they play, I know the type of players who are there and we have planned very well for them,” he said.
On the emotion of playing his former team, Chipepo said, “I just have to control myself they are still my family and I have come to make another family here so it is just a matter of playing a game and make ourselves happy.”
(Mwebantu, Friday, 1st December, 2023)
Chipolopolo’s global rating drops
CHIPOLOPOLO have dropped three places on the latest FIFA World ranking, moving from 81st to 84th in the World.
Every month, world football governing body FIFA publishes an updated ranking taking into account FIFA-recognised games that have been played during the course of the previous month.
Zambia’s loss to lowly rated Niger last month could have been the reason the team has dropped three places on the world ladder.
Last month, Zambia beat Congo Brazzaville 4-2 in the FIFA World Cup qualifier at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium before going on to lose 2-1 to Niger.
The team has also dropped on the African continent, moving from 17th to 18th while Morocco has maintained its place at the top.
Meanwhile, 2022 FIFA World Cup winners Argentina who have topped the global list since April have maintained their place at the summit.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 1st December, 2023)