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Sautu: Local Call-Ups Hungry to Make Chipolopolo Cut

Zesco United midfielder Spencer Sautu says his fellow home-based Chipolopolo call-ups are fighting very hard not just to make the numbers for June’s 2023 AFCON Group H qualifiers as Zambia prepares for its fourth attempt to qualifying for the biannual tournament.

Chipolopolo has not been to the AFCON since 2015 and the pressure is mounting for the team to stand up and be counted on the road to the Cote d’Ivoire finals.

Twenty two home-based players entered camp on Tuesday in Lusaka under Aljosa Asanovic to push for a place and join the foreign-based regulars who include Patson Daka, Enock Mwepu and Fashion Sakala for the June dates against Cote d’Ivoire and Comoros.

Sautu said the home-based crew is coming with the same enthusiasm from domestic completion that saw Red Arrows buck the trend to end Zesco and Zanaco’s almost 15-year duopoly of the FAZ Super League title.

“So you have seen just in the just ended FAZ Super League, it is equally the same with the players called-up in the national team. Everyone is pushing, everyone is equal to the task, everyone must just concentrate to fight for that position,” Sautu said.

“One cannot say there is no competition, competition will always be there because it is every players dream to don the national team jersey and play for their country.”

Chipolopolo kickoff their Group H campaign away against Cote d’Ivoire on June 4 in Abidjan and then hosts Comoros on June 7 in Lusaka.

“Yes, Ivory Coast is not a pushover, it is one of the best teams in Africa so for us in another way that is what is going to give us motivation to fight as a team,” Sautu said.