Friday Jun 18, 2021. 19:00
Chipolopolo Zambia coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic intends to summon all his African-based regulars for next month’s defence of the COSAFA CUP in South Africa.
The holders will defend their title at this season’s COSAFA Cup that South Africa will host at Nelson Mandela Bay from July7-18.
At least four absentees out of the six continental-based players earlier summoned for Zambia’s just-ended June friendly tour of Senegal, Benin and Sudan are expected to be called-up for the 20th anniversary of the competition.
“We are looking at trying to get as many professionals as possible who have not had enough game time and missed the recent trip to Africa to Senegal, Benin and Sudan. We will use this chance for them to break into the competitive team that will go into the World Cup qualifiers,” Micho said.
Players in line for COSAFA Cup calls-up include the South African-base midfield duo of Augustine Mulenga of Amazulu and Roderick Kabwe from Black Leopards who missed the tour duo to club obligations.
Tanzanian-based duo of Rally Bwalya and Clatous Chama are also under consideration after they were dropped from the tour due to technical and a family bereavement respectively.
Meanwhile, the Polokwane City duo of goalkeeper Mwenya Chibwe and midfielder Salulani Phiri made the three-nation tour and are expected to headline the COSAFA Cup lineup.
Chipolopolo have been drawn in Group B against Malawi, Madagascar and Comoros.
“We are in a very tough competitive group and when you take into consideration that Malawi and Comoros have qualified to the AFCON and that Madagascar were the 2019 AFCON quarterfinals, it means it is a tough competitive group in which each game will count,” Micho said.