Zambia returns to Gabon for friendly

Channels Television  
Updated February 20, 2012

New African champions Zambia want to return to the site of the Nations Cup triumph and play a friendly in Gabon next week.

Negotiations for a friendly in Libreville on February 29 are in progress.

“For us Gabon is a special place. Firstly we would like to go and thank the people there, they looked after us very well,” Zambia FA spokesman Enock Mwanza told reporters in Lusaka on Monday.

“We won our first African cup there. We lost an entire team there,” he said in a reference to their Nations Cup final triumph against Ivory Coast on February 12 and the 1993 air crash in Libreville where 18 players from the Zambian squad died.

Zambia had no plans for a friendly for next Wednesday’s FIFA date before their success in the Nations Cup but now have several invitations for a hastily-arranged match in the wake of their unexpected triumph, with Gabon top of the list.

“A friendly against Gabon would be symbolic,” Mwanza added.

Zambia upset the the tournament’s favourites, Ivory Coast on penalties after a 0-0 draw in Libreville.

Gabon co-hosted the Nations Cup with Equatorial Guinea.