Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) President Andrew Kamanga has blamed inexperience for Chipolopolo’s failure to go past the group stages of the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.
Chipolopolo drew 1-1 against DR Congo and Tanzania and suffered a 1-0 defeat against Morocco in their Group F matches to miss out on a round of 16 spot.
“It is very easy to be hard on ourselves and the Chipolopolo following the early exit, but like every sport, we must pick ourselves up and focus on the upcoming tournament,” he wrote in his weekly column shared on FAZ’s Facebook page.
Kamanaga continued: “We came to this tournament on the back of having missed out on three editions and had to summon everything we had to be on par with the big guns on the continent. Most of our players were making their debut appearance at the Afcon and needed exposure on the big stage going forward.”
Kamanga also revealed that FAZ will look to utilise the March international window to prepare the team for the World Cup qualifiers. “We will keep our focus on the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers that will resume in June with back-to-back fixtures against Morocco and Tanzania in a repeat of Afcon fixtures,” he said.
“We will have an opportunity to prepare for the June fixtures during the March FIFA window. As FAZ, we have never relented in ensuring that we line up quality preparations for international matches.”