New era has started – Kalu

Kalusaha bwalya and Boniface Mwamelo

FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Kalusha Bwalya says the Chipolopolo’s courageous play against Brazil has heralded a new era for Zambian football.
And Minister of Youth and Sport Chishimba Kambwili has saluted the national team for putting up a spirited fight against the Samba Boys in Tuesday’s international friendly at Beijing National Stadium.
“I would like to commend all of you boys for your hard work, dedication and commitment, which has seen us through this match and I am proud that you demonstrated to the rest of the world what a great football nation we are,” said Kalusha when he addressed players at the five-star Marco Polo Hotel on Tuesday.
“It’s been a wonderful learning exercise and experience. We take many lessons and positives from the match and what we showed today and the work we’ve put in over the last seven days heralds a new era for our football. An era of hard work, top level professionalism and above all humility, which was demonstrated by Brazil and yourselves throughout the match and even after the match.”
Zambia held Brazil to a stalemate in the first half and it took Chelsea midfielder Oscar to break the deadlock in the 59th minute and Dede sealed victory on 66 minutes.
“I am sure every Zambian is proud of their team and will agree that Zambia is able to play against any team in the world. We are thankful to Brazil for having given us this opportunity to play them and the wonderful collaboration with us in organising this match.
“Now, we will look forward to the future with greater hope believing that our boys can play at that level and that the people of Zambia will be behind us supporting the boys all the way,” Kalusha said.
And Kambwili described the Chipolopolo’s performance as excellent.
“Most of us thought the game would end with a 6-0 scoreline considering the world-class players that Brazil featured in that game. It is encouragement that we could hold them [Brazil] in the first half and only conceded in the second half because of a breakdown between the midfielders and the strikers.  But all in all, the boys have made us proud,” Kambwili said.
Brazil thumped Spain 3-0 in the FIFA Confederations Cup final on June 30 in Rio de Janeiro and whacked Australia 6-0 in an international friendly last month.
Kambwili said the match against Brazil provided an opportunity for the players to market themselves.
He felt pity for the TP Mazembe trio of Stopilla Sunzu, Rainford Kalaba and Nathan Sinkala, who missed a chance to show their prowess to the world.
The Lubumbashi-based side claimed that Kalaba and Sinkala were down with malaria while Sunzu was reported to be recuperating from a knee injury.
“I feel pity for the three TP Mazembe players because the Democratic Republic of Congo is not a good place to play football. The boys missed a golden opportunity as this match attracted a number of scouts,” Kambwili said.