FAZ should hit the ground running in January now that Zambia’s only hope to reclaim its footballing honour in 2019 lies on the road to the 2020 Olympics.
They are just three months left before Zambia begins its only major priority assignment in the 2019 U23 AFCON qualifiers when they play Malawi in a second round tie in March.
Winner will advance to the final round in June to play Burundi or Congo-Brazzaville for a spot at the Egypt tournament.
The top three finishers at the U23 AFCON that Egypt will host from November 8-22 will qualify to the Olympic football tournament, a competition Zambia has agonizingly failed to attend for the last 30 years.
No cost should be spare and FAZ should show the same seriousness with the qualifiers as it did with the successful 2017 U20 AFCON team training programme.
Yes, the bulk of that team will be headlined by Enock Mwepu, Fashion Sakala and Patson Daka but preliminary selection camp must start as early as January.
Merit over reputation must be a priority in the selection process.
We also hope to see FAZ finally utilize the memorandum of understanding it signed with the Morocco FA over junior football programmes that has been gathering dust since 2017 especially in terms of a couple of high-profile friendlies in that package.
2018/2019 CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PRE-GROUP STAGE FINAL LEG
Levy Mwanawasa Stadium
Zesco United 1(Lazarus Kambole 12′)-TP Mazembe* 1(Tresor Mputu 48′)
*Mazembe advance 2-1 on agg
Dar es Salaam,Tanzania
Simba SC* 3(Jonas Mkude 29′, Meddie Kagere 45′, Cletous Chama 87′)-Nkana 1(Walter Bwalya 17′)
*Simba advance 4-3 on agg
2018/2019 CAF CONFEDERATION CUP SECOND ROUND FINAL LEG
Stade du 5 Juillet 1962
NA Hussein Dey* 2(Ahmed Gasmi 36′ pen 90+5)-Green Eagles 1(Collins Mulenga 4′)
*Dey advance 2-1 on agg
Green Buffaloes 1(Mike Katiba 83′)-CS Sfaxien 0*
Sfaxien advance 5-1 on agg
TOP SCORERS 2018/2019
Kelvin Mubanga (Nkana):2
Anos Tembo(Green Eagles):2
Jesse Were (Zesco):2
Mike Katiba (Green Buffaloes):1
Collins Mulenga (Eagles):1
Chipili Mungule(Green Buffaloes):1
Steward Chikandiwa(Green Buffaloes):1
Friday Samu (Green Buffaloes):1
Spencer Sautu (Green Eagles):1
Harrison Chisala (Nkana):1
Jonathan Manongo(Green Eagles):1
Edward Mwamba(Green Eagles):1
Rahim Osumanu (Zesco):1
Festus Mbewe (Nkana)
Prince Mumba (Kabwe Warriors):3
Emmanuel Mwiinde (Young Buffaloes): 1
Edward Chilufya (Djurgardens,Sweden):1
Benson Kolala(Nchanga Rangers): 1
Vincent Kaunda (Chama Young Stars):1
Joseph Banda (BSA Chiparamba):1
Kelvin Mwanza(MUZA Academy):1
Manna Chiwisa (Lusaka Youth Academy):1
Vincent Chate (Free State Stars)*:1
*Denotes own goal