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Grant eyes win 

…We have to qualify for AFCON no matter what says Chipolopolo gaffer 

By MICHAEL MIYOBA

ZAMBIA National team coach Avram Grant says the Chipolopolo’s main objective is to beat Ivory Coast when the two teams face off on June 17 at Levy Mwanwasa Stadium in Ndola to qualify for the 2023 AFCON which will be played in 2024 in Ivory Coast.

The Chipolopolo are currently second in Group H with 9 points, one point behind leaders Ivory Coast and six points against third placed Comoros Islands.

A draw in the June 17 in Ndola will be enough to secure a return the prestigious continental championship after missing the last three editions.

Grant said his target is to mode a squad which will not be defeated easily as it fights to achieve the target of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations.

“We need one point and we play against a very good opponent. I saw their videos, very good players, one play in Barcelona but as I said one of the targets is to be a team that will be hard to beat and we showed against Lesotho, but Ivory Coast is better than them and we want to continue with this. We hope to get the one point but we will play to win and the other target is to be at the Africa Cup no matter what or how,” Grant said.

The former Chelsea and Ghana national team gaffer who earlier named a 29-member squad cautioned the players called for national team duty to show the desire and anger to represent the country.

“Players that will not show desire to play for the national team will not be here. There are two players that I don’t want to mention their names they didn’t show the desire so we didn’t take them, and we want results. The team is more important than one individual,” Grant said.

Meanwhile, Kamanga said the Chipolopolo who regrouped yesterday in Lusaka will be camped in South Africa to prepare for the June 17 Africa Cup of Nations clash with Ivory Coast.

Kamanga confirmed that most of the foreign based players have concluded their leagues and are in the country in good time to commence the camp with the rest of the squad.

Kamanga said the FAZ administration has kept the tradition of giving the squad quality preparations ahead of any international assignment.

He emphasized the need for the general citizenry to turn up in numbers at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola and give the team an extra push in their quest for AFCON qualification.

“We cannot imagine anything deserving more support than investing all efforts to ensure that the Chipolopolo which is the nation’s flagship team gets maximum support. There is no doubt that with everyone’s support, the Chipolopolo will deliver to the expectations of everyone,” Kamanga said.

On the Copper Queens who are set to regroup for the final phase of preparations for the FIFA Womens World Cup will on June 11 play Tanzania in a sendoff international friendly match at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.

After facing Tanzania at home, the Copper Queens will on June 22 face Ireland in Dublin before playing Switzerland on June 30 in Zurich.

The Bruce Mwape drilled will conclude their European camp with a game against Germany in Furth on July 7. At the World Cup Zambia will compete in Group C alongside Spain, Japan and Costa Rica.

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