Zambia striker Patson Daka says playing international friendly games against two high-profile 2019 AFCON finalists is a positive sign despite Chipolopolo’s failure to qualify for the tournament Egypt is hosting from June 21 to July 19.
Chipolopolo has a date against defending AFCON champions Cameroon in Madrid, Spain on June 9 and Morocco away in Marrakech on June 16.
In-between, Zambia will play Gambia in Marrakech on June 12.
“It is very important that we can be considered for these friendly games amongst other countries and it means that they know we have something to offer,” Patson said.
“It is just unfortunate that we didn’t qualify to the AFCON.
“It is also a good platform for us to stay in shape and to work towards our future goals.
“It doesn’t mean that just because we haven’t qualified, then we have to stop even being together and work on other areas.”
Zambia, who has been in camp since Tuesday, will leave for Spain on Friday morning.
But the team will be without defender Stopilla Sunzu of French club Metz who has withdrawn from the tour due to injury.
The development means coach Beston Chambeshi will only have 19 out of the 20 call-ups for the excursion.
GOALKEEPERS: Allan Chibwe (Nkana), Charles Muntanga (Nkwazi)
DEFENDERS: Kabaso Chongo (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Ziyo Tembo (Al Shoula, Saudi Arabia), Kebson Kamanga (Nkwazi), Paul Banda (Lusaka Dynamos), Moses Nyondo (Nkana), Shemmy Mayembe (Zesco United)
MIDFIELDERS: Donashano Malama (Chippa United, South Africa), Gamphani Lungu (SuperSport United, South Africa), Salulani Phiri (Polokwane City, South Africa), Enock Mwepu (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria), Emmanuel Banda (AS Beziers, France), Kings Kangwa (Buildcon), Augustine Mulenga (Orlando Pirates, South Africa),
STRIKERS: Justin Shonga (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Patson Daka (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria), Fashion Sakala (KV Oostende, Belgium)