Zambia soccer chief apologizes over failure to qualify to Africa Cup of Nations finals

LUSAKA, Nov. 27  — The head of Zambia’s soccer governing body on Monday apologized to soccer fans over the failure by the senior national soccer team to qualify to next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
The Chipolopolo (The Copper Bullets) failed to qualify to next year’s Africa showpiece for a consecutive time after losing to Mozambique 0-1 on November 18, leaving the team rooted at the bottom of Group K, with one qualifying game remaining.

Zambia remains rooted on four points, with Mozambique on seven points while Guinea Bissau and Namibia have eight points with the West Africans having a superior goal difference.

“Failure to qualify for the AFCON’19 in Cameroon is very disappointing to the nation and of course to me. Zambia is a footballing nation with immense pride and a very rich history,” Andrew Kamanga, president of the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), said in a release.

He rendered his apology also to President Edgar Lungu and the government, saying the soccer governing body has enjoyed unwavering support from the government.

Kamanga, however, said the failure to qualify should not be the sole basis to judge his executive harshly, saying a number of successes have also been performed.

“We have laid a very firm foundation for the growth and development of the game,” he added.
The soccer governing body chief has come under attack from ardent soccer fans following the team’s failure to qualify.

Kamanga further revealed that the national soccer team’s head coach Sven Vandenbrock’s five game contract which was tied to Africa Cup qualification will also be reviewed. – XINHUA