Sports Minister Emmanuel Mulenga is disappointed with Chipolopolo’s failure to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Zambia’s slim chances of qualifying for Cameroon 2021 ended on Thursday night following a 3-3 home draw against African champions Algeria in the penultimate Group H match in Lusaka.
This is the third straight time Zambia is missing out on AFCON qualification.
“I think as Sports Minister indeed I am concerned that we have not gone to the Africa Cup,” Mulenga said.
”We need to go back to the drawing board and what we are working up on as a ministry is to make sure we introduce the FAZ league in schools. From Grade one to Grade 12 the pupils should have a league. We are introducing leagues in schools.”
Mulenga said a poor start to the qualifying campaign costed Zambia a place at the Cameroon tournament.
“We need to look at the mistakes which were made, especially when we played Zimbabwe here at home and when we played Botswana away,” he said.
Zambia lost three of the first four matches in the qualifying campaign – going down 5-0 to Algeria, 2-1 to Zimbabwe and 1-0 to Botswana.
“If we didn’t lose those games I think we were going to be in a better position to qualify. So we should treat each game with the importance it deserves whether it is the first game or the second game. We should not only put our heads together when we reach almost at the far end and then we start saying if we win this then we have chances to qualify.”
Mulenga concluded: “Let’s win the first games, let’s make sure we win the first games so that the games which we will remain there after will be just for formality sake.”
Meanwhile, Zambia faces Zimbabwe in the last group match on Monday away in Harare in a formality encounter on the same day Algeria will be hosting Botswana in the north.