After 54 Hours Delay, Chipolopolo Off to Cape Verde

Zambia’s Chipolopolo endured a 54 hour (two days and four hours) delay for their departure to Cape Verde where they will play the Atlantic Ocean islanders in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Wednesday.

According to a preliminary programme released last week, the team was scheduled to leave at 18:00 hours on Sunday shortly after fulfilling their opening Group F match against Mozambique a day earlier.

But after the scoreless draw against Mozambique, the Zambian team was kept waiting with the journey being deferred several times on account of non-payment of the chartered flight to ferry the team.

The team finally flew out of the country through Ndola International Airport on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at around 22:00 hours and were expected to make a refuelling stop-over in Lago, Nigeria five hours later.

The itinerary show that the team will arrive in Cape Verde between 7:00 and 8:00 am before facing their hosts around 17:00 hours local time.

During the period the Chipolopolo were holed up in Ndola, interim coach Honour Janza drafted a makeshift training schedule to keep the side busy.

According to sources, there had been a problem with paying for the charter hence the unavailability of the plane.

The owners of the charter had asked for full guarantee of payment for a trip that is reportedly costing K400, 000.

It not unfamiliar for the team to be subjected to long delays, with perhaps the most memorable being the World Cup match against Ghana in Kumasi where the team lost about 24 hours due to chaotic travel arrangements.

Sports minister Chishimba Kambwili took responsibility on behalf of the Zambian government and Football Association of Zambia by apologising for the disastrous travel plans.

Source : Zambia Reports

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