The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has okayed the request by FAZ to admit 20, 000 fans for October 10, 2021, FIFA World Cup qualifier between Zambia and Equatorial Guinea set for National Heroes Stadium.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga confirmed the development and indicated that the process of having fans for league matches had also been triggered.
The Ministry of Health had allowed FAZ to admit 20, 000 fans for the September 7 match against Tunisia at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium but CAF reduced the number to 5, 000.
“For the 10th of October match, we can confirm that there will be 20, 000 but also our appeal honourable minister is that we need your help to get the soccer fans to watch the local league because the clubs are also having challenges,” Kamanga said.
And sports minister Elvis Nkandu said he had already engaged his Ministry of Health counterpart Sylvia Masebo on the possible return of fans to stadia.
“They may allow a certain number to watch. We will talk to them on your behalf. We are being bombarded by fans everywhere we go. They are eager to get back to the stadium,” Nkandu said.
Meanwhile, CAF has confirmed giving FAZ the all-clear to admit 20, 000 fans albeit with strict adherence to Covid-19 guidelines.
“We acknowledge receipt of your communication requesting the admission of spectators at the stadium for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Africa Qualifiers match, Zambia vs Equatorial Guinea. As previously communicated in our correspondences, we would like to reiterate that CAF and FIFA covid-19 match protocols clearly state that all matches must be played behind closed Doors,” reads the statement in part.
“Nevertheless, after analysing and assessing the request in your venue from a medical perspective, stadium requirements compliance, safety & security standpoint, CAF has decided to grant Football Association of Zambia the access of 20’000 spectators.”
Zambia will host Equatorial Guinea on October 10 at National Heroes Stadium in a Group B Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
The Chipolopolo will be away in Malabo on October 7 before heading to Lusaka to complete the doubleheader cation.
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