Letter to the Editor

Zambia’s absence at 2017 Afcon is bitter pill to swallow

Dear editor,
The failure by the Zambia national soccer team to qualify for the 2017 Gabon Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) football tournament is a bitter pill to swallow, and vital football lessons must be derived.
The 2017 edition of the prestigious Africa Cup football tournament started on Saturday January 14, 2017 with the hosts, Gabon played Guinea Bissau to a 1-1 draw in the first game of African Nations Cup.
The latter qualified in group E which included Congo Brazzaville, Kenya and Zambia.
Football as a unifying factor in the world as far as sport is concerned is about winning and losing. In some instances, the game might end in a stalemate or rather a draw.
For a team to win in any game of football, there is need for hard work, discipline, focus and psychological preparation among other factors.
If any of the above is missing, the team cannot win let alone qualify for the football tournament as the case is with Zambia national soccer team fondly referred to as the Chipolopolo Boys.
Our national team players knew that the team’s dream was to qualify for the 2017 Gabon Africa Cup of Nations but this was not realised.
All things being equal, the team was complacent as it could not garner the much needed maximum points especially from the games played at home.
Hence, the team’s failure to qualify for the Africa’s football tournament. Truth be told, our national team lacked the killer instinct and they underrated  so I teams in the group such as the minions, Guinea Bissau which pulled a surprise in the group by emerging victorious.
The super bullets, the Chipolopolo Boys fired blank shots during the 2017 Gabon Afcon qualifiers.
To be very honest, our national team couldn’t score goals and win matches to warrant them qualification.
The lesson our national team should derive from their failure to qualify for Afcon are twofold; they should not underrate any team in the qualifying matches as there is nothing like small teams and secondly, they need to be adequately prepared in future football engagements.
Tough luck Zambia and the team’s absence at the 2017 edition of Afcon is indeed a bitter pill to swallow.
ELEMIYA PHIRI
Lusaka



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