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Zambians to dominate African League

MUKWIMA CHILALA writes

DESPITE the Zambia national soccer team conspicuously missing out on the 32 edition of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted by Egypt, its premier soccer competition is set to be among the African League’s favourites with the highest number of players taking part in the competition.

The 2019 edition of the AFCON under a new format set for June 21 to July 19, 2019,  will see Zambian Super League teams such as Lusaka Dynamos, Napsa Stars and Zesco United all contributing some players to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Zambia Super League Stream A title contenders Lusaka Dynamos could contribute the highest number with a total of six of its  players set to be part of the travelling party to the AFCON 2019.

This could make it one of the most represented clubs at this year’s AFCON and also having the most representatives at an AFCON in the clubs history.

Namibia, Burundi, Kenya and Zimbabwe are the countries that have some of their players plying their trade in the Zambia Super League and have made the cut for their respective national teams’ provisional lists of those travelling to AFCON.

Namibia have the highest number of players out of the Zambian local league with Tiberius Lombard, Petrus Shitembi , Willy Stephenus  and Hendrick Somaeb,  all Lusaka Dynamos players, making the provisional list for the Brave Warriors.

Other players from the club include Burundi’s Makcatur Arakaza and Zimbabwe’s Dennis Dauda making the cut for their countries.

The Burundi national team also named four ZSL players in its provisional AFCON 2019 list with Napsa Stars hotshot and current league top scorer Laudt Mavugo making the cut.

Other ZSL stars include Zesco United’s Enock Sabumukama as well as David Nshirimana from Buildcon FC and Mackatur Arthur from Lusaka Dynamos.

However, there was no place for Zesco United goalkeeper Dieudonne Ntibahezwa in the provisional list of the Burundi AFCON bound team.

Meanwhile, 2015 Zambia Super League top scorer, Zesco United’s Jesse Jackson Were, has been left out of his Ccounty’s Egypt-bound team while his compatriots and Zesco teammates Antony Akumu and David Owino have been included in the team.

Zanoco’s hotshot midfielder, Tafadwa Rusike, has made a return to the national team after a six-year hiatus following his impressive season at Zambia Super League 2019 title contenders.

And Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) deputy general secretary Joseph Chimpampwe observeS that the commercialiSation of the game in the country was one of the major factors contributing to the high number of players participating at this year’s AFCON.

“There are many factors at play like being about the only remaining country still in partnership with Supersport, the emergency of commercialisation of the game and efforts of FAZ over the years through capacity building programmes,’’ he said.

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