The Zambia national team will have a camp in West Africa later this month as part of preparations for the Ivory Coast 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) President, Andrew Kamanga has confirmed that the Chipolopolo Boys will play friendly matches with West African side before their first AFCON qualifier against Ivory Coast.
Kamanga who was speaking in his weekly update also confirmed the May 23rd international friendly match against India to be played in Qatar.
“On the international side, the break presents an opportunity for the national team technical staff to assemble the local players and intensify preparations for the Ivory Coast 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. We have already laid out an intensive program that will see the Chipolopolo face India in Qatar on May 23 before heading to West Africa for an international camp preceding the June 4 encounter against Côte d’Ivoire,” Kamanga wrote.
“We have lined up international friendly matches against West African teams where we hope our foreign based players would have joined camp to give the technical bench an opportunity to test their squad ahead of the June 4 encounter.”
The game against India will be played by the Local Bullets with the foreign based players joining the West African camp.
“The India assignment will have local players given that it falls outside the FIFA window and some foreign based players are still fully engaged with their clubs. We believe that the assignment will be good for the local players that the technical staff want to throw in the pond during the back-to-back Ivory Coast 2023 AFCON qualifiers.
We also have our focus on the June 7 home match against Comoros at National Heroes Stadium where we expect that the Chipolopolo faithful will be in the stands to spur the team on.”
The Copper Bullets were drawn in group H alongside hosts Côte d’Ivoire, Comoros and Lesotho for the qualifiers of the 34th edition of the international men’s football championship of Africa.
Aljosa Asanovic’s men will start their campaign with an away fixture against the 2015 Champions, Ivory Coast on May 30th.
The 2012 AFCON Champions will then host Comoros on June 14 before a back-to-back engagement with Lesotho at home on September 19 and in Maseru eight days later.
The Enock Mwepu captained side will then host Ivory Coast on March 20th, 2023 before wrapping up their campaign away in Moroni with a date against Comoros on March 28th.
Zambia will be desperate to make it to the continental showpiece after missing the last three consecutive tournaments.
Zambia will be looking for an 18th African Cup of Nations appearance.