U-23, Shepolopolo suffer setbacks


STRIKER Davy Daka has been ruled out of Zambia’s match against Botswana after failing to recover from a nagging injury.
Zambia guests Botswana on May 22 in Gaborone in the second round of the CAF 2015 African Under-23 Championship qualifier with the return fixture set for May 29 in Lusaka.
Coach Fighton Simukonda said in an interview yesterday that Daka would not make it for the game as he was still nursing a hamstring injury but that Salulani Phiri and Bruce Musakanya who also had injuries were on the mend.
“Salulani is okay now and he has joined us in training following his five-day rehabilitation. Bruce also has to be assessed by our team doctors but Daka has been ruled out,” he said.
Simukonda said Botswana should not be underrated because they were no longer small teams in football and that the players should work hard to ensure they secure qualification.
He warned against underrating Botswana as the team learnt it the hard way after doing the same against Nigeria, who eventually stunned Zambia to qualify for the All Africa Games.
Under-17 soccer team captain Patson Daka together with Red Arrows midfielder Paul Katema and Kabwe Warriors goalkeeper Lameck Chirwa have joined the squad.
Meanwhile, Shepolopolo striker Grace Chanda has been ruled out of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualifier against Zimbabwe slated for May 23.
Chanda, who was the only one not to have joined camp, is busy preparing to write her examinations.
Assistant coach Kape Saili was confident that the team will perform well and end the jinx that has seen them lose to Zimbabwe in the Olympic qualifiers.
“So far so good, preparations are going on well and the girls are focused on the task ahead of them. We beat Zimbabwe last year but we want to eliminate them from the qualifiers this time around,” she said.