The nation is in shock as it mourns the passing of Zambia international striker Chaswe Nsofwa who died suddenly on Wednesday in Israel.
Nsofwa, who just two weeks ago joined Israel division 2 club, died after collapsing during a training match against Maccabi Beersheba.
Caf, Fifa, Faz President Teddy Mulonga including Zambia national team coach Patrick Phiri have all passed their condolences over the death of 27 year old Nsofwa.
Nsofwa’s ex-Zanaco team mates Numba Mumamba and Kelvin Kaindu, with whom he formed a lethal attacking force between 1999 and 2003 while in-between won the league title with the club in 2002 and scored 14 competitive goals in all competition that year, were struck by his death.
It (Nsofwa’s death) is a very big blow to Zambian football,” Mumamba said.
“This is the time when we needed him most and all the players are very sad. We are with his family mourning his death both spiritually and physically.
“He was more like a brother to me and we have been good friends since I joined Zanaco (In 1999) and used to come to me for advice often.”
And Kaindu said Nsofwa’s death had left him numb.
“It has come as a great shock and we will greatly miss him. It is even more painful especially that he trained with us before he left for Israel ,” said Kaindu.
The late Nsofwa previous clubs include Green Buffaloes, whom he joined in 2005 after a brief and controversial first professional stint at Russia team Krylya Sovetov.
Nsofwa also had a brief stay with Lusaka Dynamos last year.
Nsofwa, who was capped over a dozen times for Zambia, made his senior national team debut under the late George Mungwa on March 3, 2000 in a 2-0 win over Lesotho in an international friendly in Lusaka.
12 days later, Nsofwa scored his first of 11 international goals for Zambia in a 1-1 draw in a friendly match against Malawi played at Arthur Davies stadium in Kitwe.
Nsofwa made a dramatic return to the national team last year after a two-year hiatus to score Zambia’s second goal in the final of the Cosafa Castle Cup final when the team beat Angola 2-0 at Independence stadium in Lusaka.
He was also part of Patrick Phiri’s Under-20 team that reached the semifinals of the 1999 Africa Youth Cup and took part in the FIFA World Youth Cup in Nigeria.
Chaswe was also an integral part of the under-20 team that won the 1999 COSAFA Under-20 Championships in South Africa.
In 2003, Chaswe was amongst World Football Magazine’s top 100 promising young players of the new millennium.
Prior to joining Beersheva had played for Malaysian club Melaka Telekom FC for the last two seasons.