FAZ commemorates the 27th anniversary of the Gabon crash

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For some the day seemed to have been overshadowed by the current trying times when the world and the nation in particular is fighting a deadly pandemic.

Zambia will never forget ‘yesterday’ in retrospect, in 1993.

The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) this morning marked the 27th Gabon Disaster anniversary with a low-key ceremony in strict adherence with the Ministry of Health Covid-19 guidelines.

FAZ has not organized any official memorial in observance of the Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings.

FAZ president Andrew Kamanga leading a five-member secretariat team at the Heroes Acre laid wreaths.

There ambience that normally characterizes the Heroes Acre every April 28, the spirit of the gallant soldiers was reflected through the effort to pay homage even under the global health crisis.

FAZ president Andrew Kamanga commiserates with the families whose respect for the deceased has never faded even after so many years of having lost their lost ones.

“This day marks an important occasion in the history of our game. It is an occasion that robbed our country of its finest generation of talent that were poised to qualify Zambia to its maiden World Cup appearance,” said Kamanga.

“To the families, it is regrettable that we could not be together because of the health crisis that has hit the world. Despite the absence, we are joined with you in spirit in paying tribute to the heroes whose lives we celebrate today.”

Kamanga added, “Every journey to this Acre always re-enforces our desire to push our game further. These men paid the ultimate price in pursuit of the nation’s football glory. It is our hope that we will repay their sacrifice by doing our best to improve our game and achieve their ultimate dream of World Cup qualification.”

The FAZ president implored the football family to join hands with the rest of the wider Zambian community in fighting the Covid-19 in the same spirit exuded by the fallen heroes.

“As we commemorate this day, let us also remember that the world is in the middle of the fight against the Covid-19. We can borrow from the spirit of these men lying here by summoning every effort to ensure that we finally triumph,” he said.

The FAZ patron His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu (ECL) summed up the feelings of the nation in his statement yesterday:

“It was one of the most difficult moments for our country. I wish it had not happened to us.

“I wish you had reached Dakar, Senegal your final destination. I wish with your collective talents, you could have conquered Senegal and Morocco. We could have probably won the Africa Cup in 1994. We could have arguably qualified, for the first time, to the World Cup in 1994.”

Full List of Fallen Heroes

(GOALKEEPERS)
Efford Chabala (Mufulira Wanderers), Richard Mwanza (Kabwe Warriors)

(DEFENDERS)

John Soko, Eston Mulenga (both Nkana), Whiteson Changwe (Kabwe Warriors), Robert Watiyakeni (Dynamos FC-RSA), Winter Mumba (Power Dynamos), Samuel Chomba (Dynamos-RSA)

(MIDFIELDERS)

Derby Makinka (El Tiffaq-Saudi Arabia), Moses Chikwalakwala, Numba Mwila (both Nkana), Wisdom Chansa (Dynamos FC-SA), Godfrey Kangwa (Olympique Casablanca-Morocco)

(STRIKERS)

Kelvin ‘Malaza’ Mutale (El-Tiffaq-Saudi Arabia), Timothy Mwitwa (Nkana), Moses Masuwa (Kabwe Warriors), Kenan Simambe (Nkana), Patrick ‘Bomber’ Banda (Profund Warriors)

Coaching Staff

Godfrey “Ucar” Chitalu (coach)

Alex Chola (assistant coach)

Wilson Mtonga (doctor)

Others

Michael Mwape (FAZ Chairman)

Nelson Zimba (public servant)

Joseph Bwalya Salim (journalist)

Crew

Colonel Fenton Mhone (Pilot)

Lt Colonel Victor Mubanga (Pilot)

Lt Colonel James Sachika (Pilot)

Major Edward Nhamboteh (Flight Engineer)

Wilson Sakala

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31