There are still doubts on whether ZNBC will televise AFCON despite the controversial monthly subscriptions that TV owners pay the national broadcaster.
Unless the PF government steps up and pumps in un budgeted broadcasting rights fees, Zambians may not watch the games where the national team is also participating.
The PF in opposition almost sued ZNBC for introducing the monthly television rights claiming it was too much for majority Zambians.
So far, the PF government has not fulfilled the promise of removing the monthly levy.
African Nations Cup record
Previous appearances in finals: 14
Best performance: Runners-up in 1974 and 1994
Coach: Frenchman Herve Renard returns to take charge of Zambia for a second successive tournament, having been appointed in October. Italian Dario Bonetti qualified Zambia for the tournament but was fired straight after.
Renard left Zambia after the last Nations Cup to become coach of Angola but was fired after just six months and then moved on to USM Alger in Algeria. The 43-year-old played at Cannes in France before working under compatriot Claude LeRoy in China, England and with Ghana‘s Black Stars.
Chris Katongo (Arminia Bielefeld). Age: 29. Position: Midfielder
Zambia’s captain is now playing in China, after spells in South Africa, Denmark, Germany and Greece. A quick winger with a nose for goal, he had two seasons in the Bundesliga with Arminia Bielefeld. He was promoted to sergeant in the Zambian army after he scored a hat-trick in a Nations Cup qualifier against South Africa in 2007, having started his career while pursuing a career in the military.
Collins Mbesuma (Lamontville Golden Arrows). Age: 27 Position: Forward
A burly striker whose frame often looks largely out of condition but whose strength is a menace for defenders and who has a poacher’s instinct in the penalty area. Six years ago Mbesuma won a move to Portsmouth on the back of scoring 30 goals in a season with South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs, but he barely made an impression in England and also failed with subsequent moves to Turkey and Portugal. He is now back playing club football in Durban, South Africa.
Emmanuel Mayuka (Young Boys Berne) Age: 21 Position: Forward.
The youngest player at the 2008 Nations Cup finals, after which he moved to Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel. Sold in 2010 toSwitzerland, where he scored vital Europa League goals for Young Boys and has been a regular in the Swiss league. Played for Zambia at the World Youth Championship in 2007. Mayuka is a beneficiary of Zambia’s long held policy of fast tracking promising teenage talent straight into the national team.
FIFA world ranking Dec. 2011: 79th
Prospects: Zambia compete at the Nations Cup for the 11th time in the last 12 editions, testimony to their consistency. But the Zambians have only made it past the first round once since reaching the semi-finals in 1996 – at the last edition in Angola where they lost to Nigeria on penalties in the quarter-finals. They have always been a consistent side but never had individual stars to add impetus to their team nor enough depth to get to the business end of the tournament