By MICHAEL MIYOBA
IT is unfortunate that the provisional squad for the COSAFA Championship has already been submitted making it impossible for the under-23 players to be included in the team, says national team coach Aggrey Chiyangi.
On Monday, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), announced that the Total U-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Zambia and Congo Brazzaville, billed for June 5, would be played in September.
The change of dates for the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, presented Chiyangi an opportunity to summon some outstanding under-23 players for senior national team duty.
Chiyangi however, said that the under-23 players will be included in the CHAN team which will regroup after the COSAFA Championship.
In an interview after yesterday’s morning training session at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka, Chiyangi said that he was working closely with the under-23 technical bench, led by Beston Chambeshi, ahead of the CHAN tournament to be held in Cameroon.
“The only unfortunate thing is that there is a provisional list that has been submitted and the list was sent last week on Thursday meaning that the other players may not be included but we are working hand in hand with the under 23 technical bench because there is the CHAN tournament and some of the players will be included in the CHAN squad that will camp after the COSAFA,” Chiyangi said.
Zambia will begin the CHAN qualifiers in the second round where they will face Seychelles or Botswana who are set to clash in the first round qualifier.
“The most important thing is not to underrate any team. Botswana have improved a lot and their team is playing very well so we just have to prepare well,” he said.
Chiyangi said he was happy with the competition levels in the team which is set to break camp today before they regroup on Sunday.
The 2019 Cosafa Cup will be held in Durban from May 25 to June 8 as Zambia seeks to redeem itself from the last two years final defeats to record COSAFA Cup champions Zimbabwe.
The Chipolopolo will join the competition at the quarter-final stage with a clash against the winner of Group B, which includes Mozambique, 2015 winners Namibia, Malawi and Seychelles.