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2012 Nations Cup - Why Zambia Are The Champions ?
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The 2012 nations cup ended this past weekend. Zambia won their first title as winners of the of the three weeks tournament ( from January 21 to February 12, 2012) to become the 14th nation to have won the title.

Like any other tournaments, there were pre- tournament favorites and underdogs. Ivory Coast as usual were the overwhelming favorite. Ghana were next and Senegal in distant third.

As you can see, The champs couldn't be mention in the first three pre-tournament favorites- they may be the fourth favorite then I guess! Not even that; with the likes of Tunisia and Morocco in there? You must be kidding!

But in all these the 2012 nations cup champions were not bothered one bit about what people's opinion as to who might win title was. Indeed, from their view point , the fact that the tournament was being organized in Gabon ( as co-host with Equitoria Guinea) present them with an opportunity that they may never have again in the near future. The hour is NOW or NEVER.

Yes! as far as they are concern, the 2012 nations cup offered them the best opportunity to befittingly honour their fallen heroes. For the records, in 1993 players and officials of Zambia national football team perished in a plane crush off the shores of Libreville, Gabon. They were on their way to play Senegal in a world cup qualifier.

They demostrated their desire to honour the perished players with some " arrogance" of confidence and self-belief that one can't help but to admire and share in their emotions. The view that they came to Gabon-Equitorial Guinea to win the cup for the perished players punctuated every interview opportunity they had with the media.,Players , officials and even fans back home were cock sure the cup would be heading Zambia come the end of the 2012 nations cup championship.

The commitment level of the players on the field of play in all the matches were awesome. And interestingly, they beat all the pre- tournament favorites enroute to winning the cup.

They beat Senegal in the first group game 2-1, beat Ghana 1-0 at the semi final and Ivory Coast 8-7 in a penalty shoot out after 120 minutes of football produced no winner at 0-0 in the final game.

According to Kalusha Bwalya , the Zambian Football Association's president, fate has been good to them . To have qualified to play the final of the 2012 nations cup and have the opportunity to pay homage to their (Zambia) fallen heroes, fate has been good to them. He said this when they went to the coast where the crashed occured having qualified to play the final in Libreville, Gabon.

Each member, as a mark of respect , threw a flower into the sea. Kalusha was a member of the team then but was not on the plane only because he was to fly to Senegal from his base in Holland.

So, were Zambia the best team of the tournament to have won it? The Zambia coach, Herve Renard, doesn't think so. According to him, the best committed team won it. The team wanted to win for the perished players and that motivated. Renard reckon Zambia were destined to win the 2012 nations cup and that was what happened.

What do you think? was it written in the Stars?

Street Talk

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