Bearing in mind that only one team will qualify from each of Africa’s 10 world cup groups, FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya says Chipolopolo need to remain focused and hit an excellent level of form when the 2014 qualifiers resume in just over two weeks.
The FAZ chief, Africa’s 1988 African Player of the Year, has cautioned that even with the CAS ruling to uphold Zambia’s three points from a Fifa decision, “there was still a lot of football to be played before the country could realise the dream of Fifa World Cup qualification”.
Said Kalusha; in giving FAZ’s reaction to the CAS decision: “With 20 days before our next world cup qualifier match in Lesotho, we need to remain focused with the job at hand. Yes, we have taken note of the decision by Fifa and the ruling of the CAS. But I know that the World Cup qualifiers are always going to be tough. There’s still a lot of football to be played and we remain focused in all matches starting with Maseru on 23rd March.”
“I hope our Chipolopolo can hit an excellent level of competitiveness going into the next match so that we can consolidate our position at the top of the group. It is important to maintain and consolidate our top spot bearing in mind that only one team will go through from each of the 10 groups at this stage,” he added.
The 10 group winners will compete in 'home and away' fixtures in November to decide Africa's five World Cup qualifiers.
On Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland dismissed the appeal of the Sudanese Football Association against the Fifa decision to declare the Sudan-Zambia match of 2 June 2012 forfeited by Sudan 0-3. The CAS therefore confirmed the Fifa Appeal Committee’s decision of 24 October 2012.
With the CAS decision, Zambia goes into the third round of games world cup qualifiers on six points followed by Ghana on three with Sudan and Lesotho on one each.
Zambia sets camp for Lesotho in March 16 in Johannesburg. The squad for the qualifier against Lesotho is expected to be unveiled on Wednesday.