By GRACE CHAILE –
THE Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) has urged the national volleyball team that left for Kenya yesterday for the final round of qualifiers to aim at making it to the Poland 2014 World Cup finals.
And the Zambia Volleyball Association (ZAVA) has cried foul over the unfair funding the sport was getting as compared to football ahead of the crucial Africa qualifiers that gets underway in Nairobi today.
Speaking when he handed over a cheque of K60,000 to ZAVA, SCZ chairperson Mwamba Kalenga urged the players to qualify to the World Cup finals.
“This is public money we are giving you and we expect you to do us proud by qualifying for the World Cup finals. You should work very hard and don’t go for leisure in Kenya because we shall be expecting results,” he said.
ZAVA vice-president Barry Lwando thanked the SCZ for aiding the association to meet its K119,000 budget for the Kenya trip.
Meanwhile, ZAVA general secretary Charles Haambote expressed sadness at the difficulties the association went through to ensure the trip to Kenya materialised.
Haambote said all sports disciplines must be given the same support that football was enjoying and thanked SCZ for the gesture.
“Sometimes you wish we could all be treated like football (FAZ) but we are grateful to the support we have received from the Sports Council of Zambia as we embark on making history by qualifying for the World Cup finals,” he said.
The team left Kenneth Kaunda international Airport aboard an Ethiopian Airliner with SCZ board member Smart Mwitwa as delegation leader.
Zambia opens the qualifiers with a Southern African derby clash against neighbouring Botswana before facing Cape Verde on Friday and reigning continental champions Egypt on Saturday.
The Zambian contingent comprises team captain Philip Lundofu, Hillary Puka, Martin Zulu, Ephraim Lumbala, Augustine Mutiti, Mweete Chandaula and Raban Ngulube.
Others are Peter Kombaniya Jr, Jack Chongo, Hilary Mwandu Chindima, Steve Kabongo and Kelvin Chibale.