CECILIA ZULU, Lusaka
THREE under-17 national team players have failed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests ahead of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Championship kicking off on Friday in Mauritius.
And coach Mumamba Numba has selected 20 players for the tournament slated for July 21-31 in Port Louis.
Midfielder Isaac Silungwe and strikers Dennis Phiri and Davies Sabuni failed the MRI test conducted over the weekend at University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka.
“The MRI tests went well. We are happy to announce that out of 23 players, 20 of them managed to pass the test. It is sad that three of them failed the test. They are very good players but we don’t have any choice. COSAFA has set standards which we have to follow,” Numba said.
The junior Chipolopolo were disqualified from last year’s event in Mauritius for age cheating after defender Benjamin Phiri and striker Nicholas Mulilo failed MRI tests.
Numba is confident the team will conquer the Southern Africa region.
“We have picked a formidable team. Our target is to win the cup. At least all the players look promising. We are hoping for the best. We want to see light at the end of the tunnel. I believe they can do it,” he said.
Zambia are in Group B alongside Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa.
The team is expected to leave for Port Louis today.
Goalkeepers: Emmanuel Mphasi (Chizongwe Technical School), Bruce Kayuni (Bauleni United)
Defenders: Reuben Kailo (Choma Secondary School), Christopher Katongo (Kasama Boys), Michael Mumba (Young Napsa), Kingsley Hakwiya (Kansenshi), Victor Kasokolo (Mitondo), Jonathan Kapelembe (Romeki Football Club), Andrew Phiri (Morning Stars Academy)
Midfieders: Michael Kafusha (Milungu Secondary), Clinton Lubula (Kabwata Dynamos), Lameck Banda (Nkwazi), Prince Mumba (Kabwe Warriors), Muma Mumba (Maamba Secondary), John Mulalangabo (Kasama Boys), Niza Simutenda (Mpande Academy), Jimmy Hamanzuka (Assembly)
Strikers: Martin Njobvu (Nchanga Rangers), Christopher Phiri (Morning Stars Academy) and Moses Mwanza (Bauleni United).