THE CLASS OF 1993: Zambia remembers national team that perished in plane crash

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The fallen heroes

It was a moment of silence today, as the country remembered its fallen football heroes, the class of 1993.

The day almost passed unnoticed because of the coronavirus pandemic which is making headlines world over, for the wrong reasons.

On the evening of 27 April 1993, a DHC-5 Buffalo transport aircraft of the Zambian Air Force crashed into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after taking off from Libreville, Gabon.

The flight was carrying most of the Chipolopolo team to a FIFA World Cup Qualifier assignment against Senegal in Dakar.

In one of the most heart-breaking tragedies in the world history of soccer, Zambia’s plane crashed, claiming the lives of all 30 people on board.

Among those who died were 18 players, 4 members of the coaching department and medical team.

The list also included the Zambian federation’s chairman, a journalist, and the entirety of the flight’s crew.

Among those who lost their lives were some of the football gems the country has ever produced.

The team’s head coach, Godfrey Chitalu, with 79 goals and 108 caps who is believed to be one of the best player in Zambian football history also lost his life in the crash.

The captain of the team, Kalusha Bwalya, was not on board due to his commitment to play a match for PSV Eindhoven before making a separate plan to join the team in Dakar.

A number of other players had made similar arrangements, but most of the team perished that day on the plane.

By all accounts, the Chipolopolo class of 1993 was a strong and determined team, who went down fighting for the national cause.

Meanwhile, leading the country in remembering the these courageous heroes, President Edgar Lungu has also paid tribute to the nation for remaining strong during the most difficult times.

“27 years ago, tonight, our nation experienced a terrible tragedy, when we lost most members of the Zambian National Soccer team in a plane crash,” said the President, giving a brief description of the crash location.

Lungu added by paying tribute to the nation for remaining strong and united in the aftermath of the huge setback.

“This is because our brothers and sisters, we all embraced our national belief, when Zambia faces a tragedy or common threat, that comes our shared burden and common enemy which we fight through unity and selflessness,” he said.

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