By Punch Chama
Its not been an easy period for Zambian Football fans as the National Team has yet again failed to qualify for an AFCON and the Zambian Players and fans will have to watch on TV as other Nations take each other on in Egypt this coming June.
There is a silver lining in the story though as several foreign players who feature in the Zambian Super League will feature at the 2019 AFCON as their various National Teams qualified for the tournament.
A total of 13 players who play in the ZSL were called up for their National team matches over the weekend and all 13 saw their National Team Qualify for the AFCON with Tanzania, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Namibia all making it through.
Tanzania made it to its first AFCON since 1980 after beating Uganda 3-0 in Dar Es Salaam and Nkana FC right back Hassan Kessy played the entire match and was part of history for the Taifa Stars.
The team called up 4 players from the ZSL who include the leagues second Highest scorer in Napsa Stars forward Laudit Mavugo and though the Zambian based players were unused substitutes the team Burundi still qualified as they drew 1-1 with Gabon in Bujumbura to make it through.
Power Dynamos central defender Jimmy Dzingai was a surprise call up to the Zimbabwe National team with his 4 goals for Power this season and great performances convincing enough for him to be included in the National team though he didnt play a part in Zimbabwe’s 2-0 win over Congo Brazaville in Harare which saw the Warriors Qualify for AFCON 2019.
Nkana FC defender Musa Mohammed started for Kenya against Ghana in Accra as the Harambee Stars crashed 1-0 from a late Caleb Ekuban goal but the loss did not mean anything as Kenya had already qualified.
The Brave Warriors started with three players who play their football in Zambia as Lusaka Dynamos trio Willy Stephanus, Tiberius Lombard and Petrus Shitembi all featured at the Stadium where they play their football but the Zambia National Team Ran riot beating the Namibians 4-1 at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka though the Namibians still Qualified.
INTERESTING THINGS TO NOTE
– The only foreign Zambian Super League Player to feature at an AFCON was Power Dynamos striker Jean Lomani with Rwanda at the 2004 AFCON.
– All Players from the ZSL who were called up saw their countries Qualify for AFCON 2019.
– A total of 15 players from the ZSL could feature at the 2019 AFCON which is the most since the Zambia National Team featured 16 Players at the 2002 AFCON.