Zamba’s 2019 U23 AFCON Group B opponents, South Africa, are battling to make 18 players for the two sides’ Saturdays opening meeting in Cairo.

The club-versus – country story has not only hit Zambia who will only have 18 players for that Group B opener that will be played before the November FIFA match window opens on November 11.

South Africa landed in Cairo on Tuesday with just twelve out of the 21 call-ups ahead of the Africa zone 2020 Olympic qualifying tournament Egypt is hosting from November 8-22.

By press-time, that number had swelled to 14 although PSL clubs, notably Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates , refusing to release any of their players until after Saturday’s Soweto derby that will see the former host the latter.

They are also match-day-one doubts on the availability of two European-based stars namely striker’s Luther Singh of Moreirense in Portugal and Lyle Foster of Belgium club Cercle Brugge.

Zambia will be without Enock Mwepu and Patson Daka of Austrian champions RB Salzburg and Fashion Sakala of Belgium club KV Oostende who will only join camp after November 11 ahead of the clash against U23 AFCON defending champions Nigeria on match-day-two on November 12.

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