ZAMBIA’s coach Honour Janza has drafted DR Congo’s TP Mazembe striker, Jonas Sakuwaha and defender Aaron Katebe from Zimbabwean side, Platinum into the squad to face Ivory Coast tomorrow in the Golden Jubilee international friendly match at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
Meanwhile, Zambia has shot 10 rungs up the ladder to 78th on the FIFA Coca-Cola monthly rankings released yesterday.
Apart from the duo, Janza also called up two Zambia under-17 players in midfielder Changwe Kalale and forward Patson Daka for the match organised to commemorate Zambia’s 50 years of independence.
The coining in of the four is in response to the departure of another set of four from camp, who include three Power Dynamos players, due to injuries.
Assistant team manager Stanley Kaseko said in Lusaka yesterday that some players picked up knocks while others hobbled into camp with injuries.
Daka is a Nchanga Rangers striker while Kalale is from Division One North side Chambishi.
Sakuwaha expressed happiness to get another opportunity to represent Zambia especially during the independence anniversary celebrations.
“I am also happy that the locals we have are experienced and I believe the form they showed against Sudan will carry on, they are a good side,” Sakuwaha said.
Katebe returns to the team for the first time since March, 2013 when he was called-up for Zambia’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier away to Lesotho.
Kaseko said three Power Dynamos Julius Situmbeko, Richard Kasonde and Alex Ng’onga were released back to their club as they had knocks.
The other player released is under-20 defender Alex Mwamba.
However, the releasing of three Power Dynamos players is largely seen as FAZ backing down to club pressure especially those teams in the title hunt.
Three clubs are in the title hunt with two of them Zesco United and Zanaco facing each other with Power playing their worst nemesis in form of Nkana tomorrow.
Yesterday, Janza gave the players a free morning as he and other members of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) winning group were receiving special golden jubilee medals at Mika Conference Centre.
The team resumed training in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, Zambia has climbed 10 slots on the October FIFA Coca-Cola rankings and occupy 20th position in Africa.
The two rounds of 2015 AFCON qualifiers this month where Zambia beat Niger 3-0 after earlier drawing 0-0 away can be attributed to the Chipolopolo’s rise.
Times of Zambia