Lusaka – “We are determined to qualify and compete in the World Cup next year, and I think that will be a good achievement for Zambia, having won the continental trophy in 2012,” says Chipolopolo gaffer Beston Chambeshi.
Speaking ahead of a soccer World Cup qualifier against Mauritania on September 3, the recently appointed senior men’s coach said Zambia had what it took to make it to the global football showcase for the first time ever.
Zambia is in CAF qualification Group B along with Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea and Mauritania; and matches to be played back-to-back in the international windows set by world football governing body FIFA in September, October and November 2021, and March 2022.
In an interview with The Southern Times Sport from Mauritania where Zambia is already camped ahead of the qualifier, Chambeshi – himself a former international and now trainer of 13-time domestic league Nkana FC – said he was optimistic the squad would get off to a good start.
“We are going into the qualifiers as underdogs, but I’ve the determination that we will seek to qualify for the finals … and that is why I seek a blend of internationals and local players in the team,” he said.
Africa will have five representatives at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, There are ten CAF qualifying groups. The ten group stage winners will be paired in play-offs whose five winners will make it to next year’s global extravaganza.
The Africa qualifiers were postponed from June due to the COVID-19 pandemic.