By Michael Miyoba
FAZ says the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will not carry out its second inspection of the facilities to be used during the Total under 20 Africa Cup of Nations because it has met the hosting standards.
Speaking during the Under-20 AfCON committee cocktail party held on Wednesday evening at Radisson Blu hotel in Lusaka, FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said CAF was impressed with how his association had prepared for the coming tournament which starts on February 20.
Kamanga reaffirmed FAZ’s preparedness in hosting the tournament that will feature 7 teams from the African region including Zambia.
“From us as FAZ we have done everything required by CAF and CAF has assured us that we are ready to host the Junior AfCON and there is no need for the Federation to come and carry out its second inspections,” Kamanga said.
Kamanga also emphasized the need for Zambians to support the junior Chipolopolo noting that the boys were capable of qualifying for the 2017 Under 20 South Korea World Cup.
“We have qualified for the World Cup on two occasions and the boys are capable of doing it again but there is need for every Zambian to get involved. We have reduced the gate charges in an effort to get supporters in the stadiums,” he said.
And minister of sports youth and child development, Moses Mawere reaffirmed governments’ commitment in contributing to the development of sports in Zambia.
“The hosting of the Under-20 Afcon is an indication that our country is maturing in hosting major tournaments and the provision of financial assistance and human resource towards the hosting of the tournament is an indication of governments’ commitment towards the development of sports in Zambia,
“As government we remain committed towards uplifting the lives of citizens through sport,” he said.
The sports minister also called on the corporate world to work with FAZ and the ministry of sports to deliver a successful 2017 Total Zambia Under 20 Africa Cup of Nations.
Meanwhile Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) says it will use the Under-20 Junior AfCON to promote Zambia in terms of tourism.
ZTA Chief Executive Officer Felix Chaila said ZTA will work with FAZ and the ministry of sports in promoting Zambia’s tourism during the under 20 Afcon tournament.
“We will do everything possible to ensure that our guests enjoy their stay in Zambia. We have already started promoting the tournament in all the SADC regions and we will work with FAZ and the ministry of sports to ensure that we market our country during this crucial period,” Chaila said.
Zambia will in 8 days host the Total Under 20 Afcica cup of nations with the junior chipolopolo playing their first game against group A opponents Guinea at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.