MULWANDA LUPIYA, Ndola
THE Zambia Under-17 national team have been drawn in Group B alongside South Africa at next month’s Council of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) Championship billed for Mauritius.
Zambia were last year handed a two-year ban for using over aged players at the tournament in Mauritius and subsequently fined US$5,000.
Defender Benjamin Phiri and striker Nicholas Mulilo were found wanting after an MRI scan revealed that the two were over age following a complaint by Kenya, who lost 3-0 to the junior Chipolopolo.
The Oswald Mutapa tutored side reached the semi-finals of the 2016 edition in Mauritius after topping Group B without conceding a goal.
According to the draws posted on COSAFA website, Zambia have been paired with South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar at the event which has attracted eight teams.
Football Association of Zambia general secretary Ponga Liwewe said in an interview in Ndola yesterday that the ban which was slapped on Zambia was lifted by the regional football governing body.
“I have not seen those draws but the ban was lifted by COSAFA. It was a suspended sentence,” Liwewe said.
The championship will run from July 21-30 in Port Louis.
Hosts Mauritius have been drawn against Zimbabwe, Botswana and Malawi in Group A.
Defending champion Namibia are not competing.