The dream of Zambia’s first AFCON final captain, the late Dickson Makwaza, was to live to see Chipolopolo qualify to the FIFA World Cup, and now FAZ and the Zambia Football Coaches Association have pledged to honour him with that hope.
Zambia’s 1974 AFCON silver medal winning captain, who died on June 29 in Ndola after an illness, was put to rest on July 2 at Luanshya Central Cemetery.
FAZ President Andrew Kamanga and ZAFCA boss Daniel Kabwe said they will utilise the four-year technical deal with the Croatia Football Association as a base for Zambia’s 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup qualifying ambitions.
“We have lost a gallant sportsman who wanted to see Zambia qualify to the World Cup. Every time we met, we talked about progression and he said; why haven’t we gone to the World Cup?” Kabwe said in his tribute to Makwaza during the funeral church service on July 2 held in Luanshya at the UCZ Central Church.
“Yes, we have done everything and he appreciated that we won the Africa Cup and we have been to Seoul twice (For the 1988 Olympics and 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup) but what he wanted to see before he died was to see Zambia qualify to the World Cup.
“We can only do that by coming together as one football family.”
Kamanga, in his tribute to Makwaza at the same juncture, said the onus was on Football House to qualify for the World Cup.
“They (Croatia) have agreed to assist us though a four- year program to first of all build a coaching school, so we are now going to adopt the model that the Croatians are using so we hope that can attain success with that level of support from those who have done it,” Kamanga said.
“So if we can pick up from there, there is no doubt that we can honour Mr. Makwaza’s wish, that one day, Zambia will play at the World Cup, that, I think, is one way we can honour him.”
Makwaza was Zambia’s longest serving captain from 1965 to 1975 and won the 1972 Zambia Footballer of the Year and 1973 Sportsman of the Year.
He was also the founding member of ZAFCA in 1988 when he was its first vice president while his contemporary the late Samuel‘Zoom’ Ndhlovu was its first president.