IN a historic move, world football governing body, FIFA president, Joseph Sepp Blatter has congratulated Zambian league kings, Nkana for clinching their record 12th league title this season. Nkana won the 2013 MTN Premier Division League championship, coming exactly 12 years since they last tasted glory.
In an unprecedented move Blatter, is aware of Nkana’s achievements and on behalf of FIFA, has paid tribute to Zambia’s league record breaking side, the first to have ever happened for a Zambian club.
In a congratulatory letter to Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president, Kalusha Bwalya, Blatter said FIFA was pleased with Nkana’s achievement of winning their fist league championship since 2001 and their 12th overall.
“On behalf of the world football community, I would like to thank Nkana for the excitement they bring to the fans of the beautiful game, and wish them all the best for the future,” Blatter said.
The FIFA president said the world football community was happy with the excitement that Nkana brings to the fans of the beautiful game. He paid tribute to coach Masautso Mwale, players and members of the technical and medical staff including supporters for their respective instrumental roles they played in Nkana’s rich history.
“Dear president, please pass my warmest congratulations to Nkana FC on winning their first league championship since 2001 and 12th overall. Please convey my warmest wishes to all of the players, the manager, the technical and medical staff, and all of the team’s supporters, as each part of this organisation have no doubt been instrumental in their club’s history,” he said in his letter to Kalusha.
And club sponsors, Mopani Copper Mines said the mining giant was happy that its support and the K2.7 million investment into the rehabilitation of Nkana Stadium had borne fruits.
Mopani chief operating officer, Johan Jansen said the league title was not delivered on a silver platter but through hard work, discipline, resilience and passion by the players and support staff.
In a statement released yesterday, Jansen, however, cautioned the team against dwelling on its past glory but to work even harder to achieve more success.
“Whilst congratulating the team on winning the league and its qualification to the lucrative CAF Champions League next year, we wish to caution the team not to dwell on its past glory but work even harder to achieve more success. The battle has just begun and only the fittest will survive,” Jansen said in a statement released by Mopani public relations manager, Cephas Sinyangwe. Nkana wrapped up the 2013 league championship in emphatic fashion, thumping 2004 winners, Red Arrows 4-1 in the season-closing Week 30 fixture last Sunday in Kitwe. That victory earned Nkana recognition from the Kitwe City Council with Mayor Chileshe Bweupe who announced a reward of residential plots to each member of the squad. Nkana now have a task of breaking more records by representing Zambia well in the 2014 CAF Champions League and probably beat South Africa’s Orlando Pirates’ record to reaching the finals this year.
[times of zambia]