By MICHAEL MIYOBA
GOVERNMENT has increased the Zambia national soccer team’s winning bonus from US$1, 500 to US$3, 500 if they beat Algeria in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier set for November 11 in Algeria.
Minister of Sports Youth and Child development Emmanuel Mulenga confirmed the development noting that President Edgar Lungu is confident that the Chipolopolo will qualify for the 2021 AFCON to be held in Cameroon.
Mulenga said his ministry will make sure that the players and the technical bench led by Green Eagles tutor Aggrey Chiyangi who is acting as head coach at the national team will be paid on time if Zambia beats Algeria in the first 2021 AFCON qualifier.
“Due to austerity measures, which are being implemented by Government, the allowances for players after a win was reduced to US$1, 500 per win, but this morning when we had a meeting with President Edgar Lungu, he directed to pass on the message that if the national team wins in Algeria, they will be given US$3, 500 each which is equivalent to almost K48, 000 per player,” Mulenga said.
“This money will be passed on to our ministry before the end of next week so that if they win the money can be passed on to the players.”
Zambia plays Algeria on November 11 before hosting Zimbabwe on November 17 in the two back-to-back 2021 AFCON qualifiers.
Meanwhile, Mulenga said time has come for Zambia to bid to host a senior Africa Cup of Nations AFCON
“We are about to witness two Olympic qualifications by the women and the under-23 men’s team as well as the commencement of the bid for the next Africa Cup of Nations.
“There is no doubt in my mind that there is no better time to launch our bid to host the next AFCON,” Mulenga said.
He congratulated the football association of Zambia for qualifying for the 2020 CHAN and Afcon Under-23 to be held in Egypt as well as qualifying to the next round of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederations Cup by Zesco and Zanaco respectively.
Mulenga said the performance of various national teams and clubs is an indication that Zambian football continues to grow and to leave footprints on the continent.