From the African Business Development Club
Zambia is champion of the Cup of African Nations (CAN). Almost 20 years to the day after an entire generation of the country’s soccer players died in plane crash, the Chipolopolos, the Zambian national soccer team, were today crowned CAN Champion in Libreville, Gabon after an 8 to 7 penalty session against favorite Ivory Coast. For those T-Bird soccer fans unable to attend the live broadcast at the Coleman Lounge courtesy of Africa Business Club, here some of thehighlights.
Drogba and Gervinho both missed penalties, and could not score during the regular time. Sweene, the Zambian goal-keeper, a true heir to France’s Barthez, acted more like a defender blocking Ivorian strikes before they reached the reparation zone and crucially stopped a penalty by Drogba. Ivory Coast although dominant in ball possession most of the match were dominated strategically and psychologically. This was a game of resilience as both teams were obviously tired at the end of the tournament; and Zambia simply believed more in their moment. The absence of incidents during the tournament and the last match, as well as the tribute to the dead Egyptian fans of last week, provided a good image for African soccer’s organizational potential. Especially since the CAN was organized by two countries this year, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
Let us hope the sportsmanship and positive atmosphere carries not only to next year’s CAN but also throughout all of Africa.