The success of the Chipolopolo in 2012 and nominations for various prestigious awards is just the start of even greater things for our football, FAZ President Kalusha Bwalya has said.
The Football Association of Zambia chief believes that Zambia's success is down to the hard work of every individual associated with the team and Zambian football as a whole.
Kalusha reckons the vision, mission and objectives laid out by his administration have translated into effective programme implemented. This, the Great Kalu says, has permeated all football structures including the Chipolopolo.
In regard to Chipolopolo's successful year, Kalusha said: "In order to succeed, every individual has had do work extremely well. In this case, we have had an outstanding performance all round. We have been together for a long time, and each person has been on top of his game."
"The humility and determination of the Chipolopolo took us to a whole new level," the FAZ president, who is also Executive Committee member of CAF, said. He added: “I am proud to see Herve Renard, Captain Chris Katongo, Rainford and Sunzu making the headlines for the wonderful effort they displayed last Year."
At the 2012 Nations Cup finals, Zambia’s continental triumph was spiced by Emmanuel Mayuka winning the golden boot award for being top scorer – the second Zambian player to attain the feat after Kalusha’s golden boot honour for scoring five goals at the 1996 Africa Cup finals in South Africa. Chris Katongo won the golden ball award for being the best player in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Chipolopolo superstars also dominated the 2012 Nations Cup Africa XI with goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, Sunzu, Kalaba, Mayuka and Chris in the squad.
Recently, a record five Zambians were nominated for the African player award. Sunzu and Kalaba are now running for the African Player award with Chris in contention for the BBC African player award. In global awards, World Soccer has nominated Renard and the Chipolopolo for the world coach and world team of the year awards.
These individual and team accolades, the 1988 African footballer reckons, are significant recognitions and honours which point to a bright future.
"It is just the beginning! Everyone whose mentioned and nominated is a winner for me. I hope these nominations and any awards will inspire the whole country and our Chipolopolo to keep this momentum going into 2013," Kalusha said adding: "I see a confident group which can go on to reach even higher heights. I feel it is a start of exciting times for our Football."