THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has secured a friendly match against Malawi to help the Chipolopolo prepare for the 2015 COSAFA Senior Challenge Cup to be held in South Africa.
FAZ has since rescheduled the Chipolopolo camping that was set for April 26 to May 3 in readiness for the match against Malawi to be played at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka on May 10.
FAZ communications manager Nkweto Tembwe said at a press briefing at Football House yesterday that the friendly match will greatly help the locally based players to prepare for the COSAFA tournament that kicks off on May 17 in South Africa.
Nkweto said only locally based players will feature since the match will not be played under the FIFA date.
Chipolopolo coach Honour Janza said the friendly against Malawi will be a good opportunity for local players to showcase their skills and fight for positions in the team ahead of the regional tournament.
“We will use purely local players for the Malawi friendly which will be good preparation for COSAFA, we want our players to be exposed,” Janza said.
The gate tickets for the Malawi friendly have been pegged at K20 Open Wing while VIP charges has been put at K200.
Meanwhile, South African based midfielder Mukuka Mulenga has called for hard work if the team is to defend the title.
The Bloemfontein Celtic midfielder said in an interview yesterday pressure will be on Zambia to perform by virtue of being defending champions as every team will be out to want to claim the trophy.
“The team will be under pressure to perform quite alright but we just have to work hard to retain the trophy. It won’t be easy because every team will want to beat us but I am confident we can do it,” he said.
Mulenga said the tournament will accord the team a good platform to kick-start preparations for the Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers in June.
Zambia enters the fray at the quarterfinal stage on May 25 after they were handed a preliminary round bye and will face the winner from Group A that comprise Namibia, Seychelles, Mauritius and fellow record four-time champions Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, the Under 23 team regroups on May 3 in Lusaka to start preparations for the Senegal 2015 African Championship which acts as qualifiers to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
FAZ has warned football clubs to stop getting players from the Futsal league without following the right channel of buying players.
Tembwe said FAZ have received complaints from Futsal teams that clubs are illegally getting their players without following the transfer window regulations.