The Zambia national football team represents Zambia in men's international association football and it is governed by the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ). During the 1980s, they were known as the KK 11, after founding president Dr. Kenneth Kaunda ("KK") who ruled Zambia from 1964 to 1991. After the country adopted multiparty politics, the side was nicknamed Chipolopolo, the "Copper Bullets". The team has three Africa Cup of Nations final appearances to its credit, winning the 2012 tournament with victory over Ivory Coast in the final. The team has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup.
Early years (1929–1970)Edit
Zambia's first official match, following their acceptance into FIFA, was played on July 3, 1964, at home against Tanzania, which ended with a victory for the Chipolopolos 1–0. "Chipolopolos" is the nickname of the Zambian team, which means "Copper Bullets" due to the abundance of copper in Zambia. During the match, Zambia was not yet independent as Zambian independence from the United Kingdom occurred on the October 24, 1964. On November 22, 1969, Zambia suffered one of the two biggest defeats in its history against DR Congo 10–1. Since the 1970 World Cup qualifiers, Zambia has failed to qualify for a World Cup finals tournament.
African Cup of Nations 1974Edit
After two previous attempts to participate in the African Cup of Nations, the Zambia national football team succeeded in qualifying for the first time in 1974. In the first round, they beat Côte d'Ivoire (1–0, goal from Simon Kaushi), lost against Egypt (1-3, goal from Godfrey Chitalu) and beat Uganda (1–0, goal from Obby Kapita), finishing second in the group and qualified for the semi-finals, where they beat Congo (4–2, a Bernard Chanda hat-trick and Joseph Mapulanga's goal). In the final, Zaire and Zambia drew 2-2 (goals from Simon Kaushi and Brighton Sinyangwe) and had to have a replay for the title but, two days after the first match, Zambia lost 2-0 and saw their title aspirations disappear. However this was viewed with great pride considering it was their first participation in the tournament.
After their appearance in the final in 1974, the Zambian football team failed to qualify for the following tournament in 1976. In 1978, Zambia was eliminated in the first round with a single victory (2–0 against Burkina Faso, goals from Patrick Phiri and Bizwell Phiri), a draw (0–0 against Nigeria) and a defeat (1–2 against Ghana, goal from Obby Kapita). In 1980, they failed to qualify; but in 1982 they again reached the semi-finals and took third place, beating Algeria, having lost to Libya in the semis. In 1984, Zambia did not qualify; in 1986, they reached the first round with a point collected against Algeria (0–0). In 1988, they did not qualify. In 1990, after finishing first in the group, Zambia lost in the semi-finals against Nigeria, but beat Senegal (1–0, goal from Webster Chikabala) to collect third place. In 1992, Zambia was beaten in the quarters by Côte d'Ivoire (0-1). This period shows that Zambia is a good footballing power but it shows irregularity in a few first rounds and non-qualifiers.
Zambian Air Force Flight 319Edit
Tragedy struck the Zambian team when the military plane (REG: AF-319) transporting the team to Senegal for a 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifier crashed late in the evening, on April 27, 1993. Three stops were planned for re-fuelling, but at the first stop, in Brazzaville, engine problems were noted on the Buffalo DHC-5D of the Zambia Air Force. Despite this, the flight continued and a few minutes after take-off from Libreville, Gabon, where the second stopover had taken place, one of the engines caught fire and stopped. The pilot, who had already made a flight from Mauritius the day before, accidentally shut down the engine, which was still running. The loss of power, during the climb after take-off, caused the plane to fall and crash into the water 500m off the coast. All 30 passengers and crew, including 18 players, were killed in the accident.
Team captain and coach Kalusha Bwalya was not on board. Held in the Netherlands for a match with his club, PSV Eindhoven, he was to join Senegal separately for the qualifying match. A new team was quickly created, coached by Kalusha: he had the difficult task of leading Zambia through qualification for the FIFA World Cup and then preparing for the qualifications for the next Africa Cup of Nations. It was probably an impossible mission and Zambia did not qualify for the World Cup.
List of players killed in the 1993 plane crashEdit
- Goalkeepers: David Chabala and Richard Mwanza.
- Defenders: Kenan Simambe, Winter Mumba, Samuel Chomba, Whiteson Changwe, Robert Watiyakeni and John Soko.
- Midfielders: Eston Mulenga, Derby Makinka, Moses Chikwalakwala, Wisdom Mumba Chansa, Godfrey Kangwa and Numba Mwila.
- Forwards: Kelvin Mutale, Timothy Mwitwa, Moses Masuwa and Patrick Banda.
- Coaches: Godfrey Chitalu, Alex Chola and Wilson Sakala.
- Also on board were the two pilots, the flight crew, the FAZ chairman, a ZANA journalist and a public servant from the Ministry of Sport.
African Cup of Nations 1994Edit
In 1994, after a draw against Sierra Leone (0–0), Zambia beat Côte d'Ivoire (1–0, goal from Kenneth Malitoli) and finished first in the group. In the quarterfinals, they beat Senegal (1–0, goal from Evans Sakala), then in the semi-finals, Zambia beat Mali (4–0, goals from Elijah Litana, Zeddy Saileti, Kalusha Bwalya and Kenneth Malitoli). In the final, in Tunis, they faced Nigeria and despite the opening goal of Elijah Litana in the 3rd minute, Nigeria won 2–1.
On June 3, 1994, in Brussels, the Zambian football team succumbed to one of its worst losses in its history against Belgium, losing 9–0. At CAN 1996, they finished first in the group with two victories (5–1 against Burkina Faso, goals from Kenneth Malitoli, double from Kalusha Bwalya, goals from Dennis Lota and Johnson Bwalya); 4–0 against Sierra Leone (a hattrick from Kalusha Bwalya and goal from Mordon Malitoli) and a draw (0–0 against Algeria), beat Egypt (3–1) in the quarterfinals and loses in semis against Tunisia (2–4) but took third place over Ghana (1–0, goal from Johnson Bwalya). Kalusha Bwalya was the best in the competition with 5 goals. From 1998 to 2006, Zambia did not pass the first round, except in 2004 when they failed to qualify. On September 3, 2006, at home, Zambia achieved the biggest victory in its history against Djibouti, winning 10–0. During the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, Zambia finished third in the group with a 3–0 victory against Sudan (goals by James Chamanga, Jacob Mulenga and Felix Katongo), a draw (1–1 against Egypt, goal from Chris Katongo) and loss (1–5 against Cameroon, goal from Chris Katongo). In 2010, Zambia finished first in her group and faced Nigeria in the quarter-finals where she lost on penalties. Jacob Mulenga and Emmanuel Mbola were included in the tournament's Best XI.
The Zambia national football team has participated in the COSAFA Cup in all its editions, and has won it a joint record six times in (1997, 1998, 2006, 2013, 2019 and 2022) and a six-time losing finalist in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2017 and 2018. In 2005, Collins Mbesuma was the competition's top scorer with 4 goals.
African Cup of Nations 2012Edit
The football team Zambia finished 1st in their group as they beat Senegal (1-2, goals from Emmanuel Mayuka and Rainford Kalaba) then they shared the points with Libya (2-2, goals from Mayuka and Christopher Katongo) and finally they beat Equatorial Guinea (0-1, goal from C. Katongo). In the quarter-finals, Zambia eliminated Sudan (3-0, goals from Stoppila Sunzu, C. Katongo and James Chamanga). In the semi-finals, Zambia eliminated Ghana 1–0, Emmanuel Mayuka scoring the only goal of the game. In the final, Zambia held Côte d'Ivoire in check (0–0) and won on penalties (8–7) Watch
In 2013, Zambia was eliminated in the first round of CAN 2013 without losing a single match (three draws). Two years later, after complicated qualifiers, Zambia qualifies once again for AFCON but is again eliminated in the first round. Zambia failed to reach the finals for the first time in 13 years for the 2017 competition and losing out to Guinea-Bissau. For CAN 2019 qualification, the Chipolopolos again failed to progress, finishing last with 7 points, one point less than Namibia, in 2nd, and two points fewer than Guinea-Bissau who finished top of the group. It is a huge disappointment for Zambia which misses a 2nd consecutive CAN even though it had won the competition 7 years earlier and was seeded at the time of the draw. The qualifying for the CAN 2022 were also difficult for Zambia, finishing 3rd and a point off of Zimbabwe who occupied the final qualification spot.
Recent schedule and resultsEdit
The following is a list of match results from the previous 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
Win Draw Loss
|18 March Friendly||Iraq||3–1||Zambia||Baghdad, Iraq|
|Stadium: Al-Madina Stadium|
|25 March Friendly||Zambia||3–1||Congo||Antalya, Turkey|
|15:00||Report||Stadium: Mardan Sports Complex|
|27 March Friendly||Zambia||1–2||Benin||Antalya, Turkey|
||Report||Stadium: Mardan Sports Complex|
Referee: Batuhan Kolak (Turkey)
|3 June 2023 AFCON qualification||Ivory Coast||3–1||Zambia||Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast|
||Stadium: Stade de Yamoussoukro|
Referee: Dahane Beida (Mauritania)
|7 June 2023 AFCON qualification||Zambia||2–1||Comoros||Lusaka, Zambia|
||Stadium: National Heroes Stadium|
Referee: Samuel Uwikunda (Rwanda)
|12 July 2022 COSAFA Cup||Zambia||1–1|
||Stadium: Princess Magogo Stadium|
- Caretaker managers are listed in italics.
- Ted Virba (1978)
- Brian Tiler (1978–80)
- Ted Dumitru (1980–81)
- Ante Bušelić (1981–82)
- Bill McGarry (1982–83)
- Wieslaw Grabowski (1983–84)
- Jeff Butler (1984)
- Roy Mulenga (1984)
- Brightwell Banda (1984–86)
- Samuel Ndhlovu (1987–92)
- Moses Simwala (1993)
- Godfrey Chitalu (1993)
- Roald Poulsen (1993–94)
- Ian Porterfield (1994)
- Roald Poulsen (1994–96)
- Freddie Mwila (1996–97)
- George Mungwa (1997)
- Burkhard Ziese (1997–98)
- George Mungwa (1998)
- Obby Kapita (1998)
- Fighton Simukonda (1998)
- Ben Bamfuchile (1999–00)
- George Mungwa (2000)
- Jan Brouwer (2000-01)
- Roald Poulsen (2002)
- Patrick Phiri (2002–03)
- Kalusha Bwalya (2003–06)
- Patrick Phiri (2006–08)
- Hervé Renard (2008–10)
- Wedson Nyirenda & Honour Janza (2010)
- George Lwandamina (2010)
- Dario Bonetti (2010–11)
- Hervé Renard (2011–2013)
- Patrice Beaumelle (2013–2014)
- Honour Janza (2014–2015)
- George Lwandamina (2015–2016)
- Wedson Nyirenda (2016–2018)
- Beston Chambeshi (2018)
- Sven Vandenbroeck (2018–2019)
- Aggrey Chiyangi (2019–2020)
- Milutin Sredojević (2020–2021)
- Beston Chambeshi (2021–2022)
- Aljosa Asanovic (2022)
- Moses Sichone (2022)
- Avram Grant (2022–present)
Caps and goals correct as of 17 July 2022, after the match against Namibia.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|GK||Toaster Nsabata||24 November 1993||34||0||Sekhukhune United|
|GK||Charles Kalumba||21 January 1996||4||0||Red Arrows|
|GK||Lawrence Mulenga||21 August 1998||0||0||Power Dynamos|
|DF||Benedict Chepeshi||10 June 1996||33||0||Red Arrows|
|DF||Dominic Chanda||26 February 1996||23||1||Kabwe Warriors|
|DF||Tandi Mwape||20 July 1996||20||1||Mazembe|
|DF||Shemmy Mayembe||22 November 1997||11||0||ZESCO United|
|DF||Luka Chamanga||4 June 1991||5||0||Power Dynamos|
|DF||Allan Kapila||4 June 1995||5||0||Red Arrows|
|DF||Frankie Musonda||12 December 1997||4||1||Ayr United|
|DF||Miguel Chaiwa||7 June 2004||1||0||Young Boys|
|MF||Kelvin Kampamba||24 November 1996||37||6||ZESCO United|
|MF||Rodrick Kabwe||30 November 1992||34||0||Sekhukhune United|
|MF||Clatous Chama||18 June 1991||30||5||Simba|
|MF||Kings Kangwa||6 April 1999||15||3||Red Star Belgrade|
|MF||Emmanuel Banda||29 September 1997||14||0||Djurgårdens|
|MF||Edward Chilufya||17 September 1999||6||0||Midtjylland|
|FW||Patson Daka||9 October 1998||31||9||Leicester City|
|FW||Evans Kangwa||9 October 1992||31||4||Arsenal Tula|
|FW||Fashion Sakala||14 March 1997||19||6||Rangers|
|FW||Ricky Banda||3 March 2001||5||1||Red Arrows|
The following players have been called up for Zambia in the last 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Cyril Chibwe||17 June 1993||12||0||ZESCO United||2022 COSAFA Cup|
|GK||Kelvin Malunga||23 February 1994||0||0||Nkana||v. Iraq, 18 March 2022|
|DF||Prosper Chiluya||2 April 1998||12||0||Red Arrows||v. Benin, 27 March 2022|
|DF||Aimé Mabika||16 August 1998||1||0||Inter Miami||v. Benin, 27 March 2022|
|DF||Donashano Malama||1 September 1991||38||1||ZESCO United||v. Iraq, 18 March 2022|
|DF||Simon Silwimba||25 December 1991||24||1||ZESCO United||v. Iraq, 18 March 2022|
|DF||Solomon Sakala||28 April 1997||12||0||ZESCO United||v. Iraq, 18 March 2022|
|MF||Lubambo Musonda||1 March 1995||41||2||Horsens||2022 COSAFA Cup|
|MF||Spencer Sautu||5 October 1994||34||4||Power Dynamos||2022 COSAFA Cup|
|MF||Prince Mumba||24 March 2001||11||1||Istra||2022 COSAFA Cup|
|MF||Larry Bwalya||29 May 1995||7||0||Simba||2022 COSAFA Cup|
|MF||Lameck Banda||29 January 2001||4||0||Lecce||2022 COSAFA Cup|
|MF||Enock Mwepu||1 January 1998||24||6||Retired||v. Mali, 23 and 27 September 2022 RET|
|MF||Harrison Chisala||4 August 1997||2||0||Nkana||v. Iraq, 18 March 2022|
|MF||Chanda Mukuka||3 March 2000||0||0||ZESCO United||v. Iraq, 18 March 2022|
|FW||Gamphani Lungu||19 August 1998||15||0||SuperSport United||2022 COSAFA Cup|
|FW||Alex Ngonga||21 August 1992||20||1||Nkana||v. Iraq, 18 March 2022|
|FW||Albert Kangwanda||7 April 1999||7||2||Kafue Celtic||v. Iraq, 18 March 2022|
|FW||Patrick Gondwe||5 June 2002||7||0||Nkana||v. Iraq, 18 March 2022|
|FW||Derrick Bulaya||8 March 2003||1||0||Green Eagles||v. Iraq, 18 March 2022|
- As of 14 July 2021
- Players in bold are still active with Zambia.
FIFA World Cup recordEdit
When the former British colony of Northern Rhodesia, Zambia did not participate in World Cup qualification play until after its independence in 1964. The country's football association was formed in 1929 and joined FIFA in 1964.
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930 to 1966||did not enter||did not enter|
|1970||did not qualify||2||1||0||1||6||6|
|2026||to be determined||to be determined|
Africa Cup of Nations recordEdit
|Africa Cup of Nations record|
|1957 to 1963||Not affiliated to CAF|
|1965||did not enter|
|1970||did not qualify|
|1976||did not qualify|
|1980||did not qualify|
|1984||did not qualify|
|2004||did not qualify|
|2017||did not qualify|
|2023||To be determined|
Gossage Cup / CECAFA CupEdit
|COSAFA Cup Record|
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 22 December 2022. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 2 February 2023. Retrieved 2 February 2023.
- "History of Zambian National Team". fazfootball.com. Football Association of Zambia. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
- "2012 Africa Cup of Nations Final - Google Search". www.google.com. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
- "Zambia's remarkable journey makes them winners regardless". FourFourTwo. 12 February 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- "ZAMBIA REMEMBERS 'GABON' FALLEN HEROES". Times of Zambia. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
- "CAF releases Top XI of Orange CAN". CAF Online.
- "Final Squad". Twitter. @FAZFootball.
- Jerry Muchimba and Roberto Mamrud. "Zambia – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 January 2016.