Buffalo soldiers Fighting on arrival: Chipolopolo train on gravel

The Zambia national team in a rather bizarre spectacle decided to train on a gravel laden turf just in front of the gate leading to the main pitch at the Baba Yara Stadium at approximately 18:30 GMT on Thurday.

Watch the video here

In a midst of hostile crowd, chanting “no training! No training! Harve Renard coach of the Chipolopolo side led his charges in a brief warm-drills with gun wielding police and military men standing by.

The Zambians wanted the stadium pitch released to them for their last gasp warm-up ahead of the crucial world-cup qualifier against the Black Stars the following day.

But stadium authorities prevented them saying the time allotted the away team to train on the pitch had elapsed.

The Zambians wanted to have their way but the stadium authorities resisted leading to a stand-off for close to an hour.

Having failed in the bid to use the pitch at all cost, the Zambian trainer mounted cones on the hard gravel impregnated turf and ordered his charges to come down from the bus for a shake up.

Down they came. Up and down they went jogging, stretching and singing.
The hostile crowd was chanting too with occasional curses being hurled at the away team.

The armed security men warded off the hostile crowd who then stood at a distance still cursing.

A heavy down pour forced the team to enter into their bus and drove off amidst chants from the fans.

Thursday night’s botched training session crowned a hugely chaotic and controversial meeting between the two sides in the recent past.

In the first leg, two of Ghana’s players were alleged to have been assaulted by the Zambian fans after the Chipolopolo handed a 1-0 defeat to the Black Stars.

The return leg is scheduled for tomorrow but the drama, chaos and controversy that have greeted this crucial encounter is beyond imagination.

First it was a call on FIFA to punish Ghana’s Derek Boateng for describing tomorrow’s match as a match of revenge.

Then it came to the flight controversy with the Zambians threatening to fly straight from Lusaka to Kumasi despite several warnings by the host nation that Kumasi was not an international airport and cannot take an international flight.

Zambia needs the three maximum points to pip Ghana to the last round of qualifiers to Brazil 2014.

The game is set to begin at 16:00 GMT barring any last minute drama.



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