By MICHAEL MIYOBA
THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) says it remains committed to realizing the World Cup dreams of the Zambia national team that perished in the Gabon Disaster of 1993.
On April 27 1993, eighteen Zambia national soccer team players along with 12 others perished when a Zambia Air Force plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Gabon five minutes after takeoff from Gabonese capital Libreville.
Speaking as Zambia prepares to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Gabon disaster which claimed an entire national team off the coast of Gabon, FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said FAZ takes stock of the promise that the golden generation of Zambian players held for Mother Zambia.
With the Previous generation having delivered the 2012 AFCON which was won in Gabon, Kamanga also challenged the current generation to actualize the hopes and dreams of the team that perished while traveling to Dakar for a USA 1994 FIFA World Cup fixture.
“Every time our game hits a low point, we always look to that moment which saw the country dust itself up to reach the Africa Cup of Nations final in less than a year after the Gabon disaster. In reflecting on the 30 years of the tragedy, we have been liaising with government through the Ministry of Youth Sport and Arts to ensure that this event befits the memory of these heroes,” Kamanga said.
He said the association will in due course announce the lined-up activities for the event once the consultations with government are done.
Meanwhile, Kamanga said the Copper Queens FIFA World Cup preparations are in high gear with yet another momentous international friendly match against second placed Germany.
He said the friendly game against Germany will be another addition to the already confirmed June fixture against Northern Ireland.
Kamanga is hopeful that the Copper Queens were able to pick lessons from the two defeats recorded in the back-to-back international friendly matches against South Korea.
“Having played South Korea in the just ended FIFA window, we expect that the technical bench and squad have picked some lessons from the Seoul experience. We expect that as we draw closer to the tournament, the squad would have aligned themselves to the high level competition expected at the FIFA World Cup,” Kamanga said.
He said the FAZ technical committee will be reviewing the Korea assignment with the coaches and ensure that the team performs better in subsequent matches.
Kamanga confirmed that the FAZ technical committee will also be re-enforcing the technical bench as part of sealing loopholes ahead of the world cup.