Zambia national football team
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 finals.
Early years (1929–1970)
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 1974
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 319
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 crash
- 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 1994
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 beats 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 five times in 1997, 1998, 2006, 2013 and 2019) 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 2012
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).
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 results
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
|11 June Friendly||Sudan||3–2||Zambia||Omdurman, Sudan|
||Stadium: Al-Hilal Stadium|
|13 June Friendly||Sudan||0–1||Zambia||Omdurman, Sudan|
||Stadium: Al-Hilal Stadium|
Referee: Samoal Mohammed El Fatih (Sudan)
|8 July 2021 COSAFA Cup Group A||Zambia||1–2||Lesotho||Port Elizabeth, South Africa|
|12:00 UTC+2||Report||Stadium: Wolfson Stadium|
Referee: Akhona Makalima (South Africa)
|10 July 2021 COSAFA Cup Group A||Zambia||0–1||Eswatini||Port Elizabeth, South Africa|
|15:00 UTC+2||Report||Stadium: Wolfson Stadium|
Referee: Abongile Tom (South Africa)
|13 July 2021 COSAFA Cup Group A||Botswana||1–2||Zambia||Port Elizabeth, South Africa|
|15:00 UTC+2||Report||Stadium: Wolfson Stadium|
Referee: Thulani Sibandze (Eswatini)
|14 July 2021 COSAFA Cup Group D||South Africa||0–0||Zambia||Port Elizabeth, South Africa|
||Stadium: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium|
Referee: Brighton Chimene (Zimbabwe)
|3 September 2022 WCQ||Mauritania||1–2||Zambia||Nouakchott, Mauritania|
||Report||Stadium: Stade Olympique de Nouakchott|
Referee: Ibrahim Nour El Din (Egypt)
|7 September 2022 WCQ||Zambia||0–2||Tunisia||Ndola, Zambia|
|15:00 UTC+2||Report||Stadium: Levy Mwanawasa Stadium|
Referee: Eric Otogo-Castane (Gabon)
|7 October 2022 WCQ||Equatorial Guinea||2–0||Zambia||Malabo, Equatorial Guinea|
|17:00 UTC+1||Report||Stadium: Estadio de Malabo|
Referee: Hélder Martins de Carvalho (Angola)
|10 October 2022 WCQ||Zambia||1–1||Equatorial Guinea||Lusaka, Zambia|
||Stadium: National Heroes Stadium|
Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
|13 November 2022 WCQ||Zambia||4–0||Mauritania||Lusaka, Zambia|
|15:00 UTC+2||Report||Stadium: National Heroes Stadium|
Referee: Mahmood Ali Mahmood Ismail (Sudan)
|16 November 2022 WCQ||Tunisia||3–1||Zambia||Radès, Tunisia|
||Stadium: Stade Olympique Hammadi Agrebi|
Referee: Pacifique Ndabihawenimana (Burundi)
- Caretaker managers are listed in italics.
- Boniface Simutowe (1967–1978)
- 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 (2001)
- Roald Poulsen (2002)
- Patrick Phiri (2002–03)
- Kalusha Bwalya (2003–06)
- Patrick Phiri (2006–08)
- Hervé Renard (2008–10)
- 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–present)
- The following players were called up for the FIFA World Cup qualification matches.
- Match dates: 7 and 10 October 2021
- Opposition: Equatorial Guinea
- Caps and goals correct as of: 10 October 2021, after the match against Equatorial Guinea.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Cyril Chibwe||17 June 1993||4||0||Polokwane City|
|16||GK||Lameck Siame||9 July 1997||1||0||Zanaco|
|18||GK||Gregory Sanjase||0||0||Young Green Eagles|
|3||DF||Benedict Chepeshi||10 June 1996||14||0||Red Arrows|
|4||DF||Prosper Chiluya||2 April 1998||6||0||Kabwe Warriors|
|5||DF||Gaboniso Magenge||0||0||Lusaka Dynamos|
|6||DF||Tandi Mwape||20 July 1996||11||0||Mazembe|
|13||DF||Golden Mafwenta||15 January 2001||1||0||Buildcon|
|15||DF||Dominic Chanda||26 February 1996||3||0||Kabwe Warriors|
|19||DF||Isaac Shamujompa||12 October 1994||17||0||Buildcon|
|4||MF||Salulani Phiri||10 April 1994||29||1||Polokwane City|
|7||MF||Benson Sakala||12 September 1996||32||0||Power Dynamos|
|14||MF||Collins Sikombe||19 June 1997||22||5||NAPSA Stars|
|17||MF||Kings Kangwa||6 April 1999||7||1||Arsenal Tula|
|20||MF||Spencer Sautu||5 October 1994||29||3||Power Dynamos|
|21||MF||Paul Katema||19 September 1997||28||1||Azam|
|23||MF||Prince Mumba||24 March 2001||5||1||Kabwe Warriors|
|8||FW||Lubambo Musonda||1 March 1995||35||2||AC Horsens|
|9||FW||Amity Shamende||4 August 1993||11||1||Green Eagles|
|10||FW||Fashion Sakala||14 March 1997||15||2||Rangers|
|12||FW||Moses Phiri||3 June 1993||19||2||Zanaco|
|20||FW||Patson Daka||9 October 1998||27||7||Leicester City|
|22||FW||Brian Mwila||16 June 1994||20||10||Buildcon|
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||Allan Chibwe||22 March 1991||15||0||Green Eagles||vs. Zimbabwe, 29 March 2021|
|DF||Luka Banda||6 April 1995||12||0||NAPSA Stars||vs. Zimbabwe, 29 March 2021|
|DF||Adrian Chama||18 March 1989||45||0||ZESCO United||vs. Zimbabwe, 29 March 2021|
|DF||Zakaria Chilongoshi||27 October 1999||13||0||Power Dynamos||vs. Zimbabwe, 29 March 2021|
|DF||Kabaso Chongo||11 February 1992||43||1||Mazembe||vs. Zimbabwe, 29 March 2021|
|MF||Enock Mwepu||1 January 1998||19||4||Brighton & Hove Albion||vs. Mauritania, 3 September 2021|
|MF||Larry Bwalya||29 May 1995||7||0||Simba||vs. Zimbabwe, 29 March 2021|
|MF||Clatous Chama||18 June 1991||27||5||RS Berkane||vs. Zimbabwe, 29 March 2021|
|MF||Nathan Sinkala||22 November 1990||57||3||Stellenbosch||vs. Zimbabwe, 29 March 2021|
|FW||Ntazana Mayembe||5 April 2003||2||0||Cardiff City||v. Sudan, 11 June 2021|
|FW||Rodrick Kabwe||30 November 1992||23||0||Black Leopards||vs. Zimbabwe, 29 March 2021|
|FW||Gamphani Lungu||19 August 1998||8||0||SuperSport United||vs. Zimbabwe, 29 March 2021|
|FW||Augustine Mulenga||17 January 1990||29||5||AmaZulu||vs. Zimbabwe, 29 March 2021|
|FW||Justin Shonga||5 November 1996||33||16||Cape Town City||vs. Zimbabwe, 29 March 2021|
- As of 14 July 2021
- Players in bold are still active with Zambia.
FIFA World Cup record
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 record
|Africa Cup of Nations record|
|Host nation(s) / Year||Round||Position||Pld||W||D*||L||GF||GA|
|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|
- Football at the African Games has been an under-23 tournament since 1991.
|African Games record|
|1991–present||See Zambia national under-23 football team|
Gossage Cup / CECAFA Cup
|CECAFA Cup Record|
|1978||Did not enter|
|1985||Did not enter|
|1994||Did not enter|
|2000||Did not enter|
|COSAFA Cup Record|
- Africa Cup of Nations
- COSAFA Cup
- CECAFA Cup
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 23 December 2021. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 19 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
- "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.
- "ZAMBIA PICKS 9 FOREIGN BASED PLAYERS". Retrieved 30 August 2019.
- Jerry Muchimba and Roberto Mamrud. "Zambia – Record International Players". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 1 January 2016.