President Hakainde Hichilema has advised the media not to always dwell on negative reports surrounding the Copper Queens.
Hichilema said the media should instead focus on helping the Copper Queens by encouraging them.
Speaking in a speech read for him by Youth, Sport and Arts Minister, Elvis Nkandu, at a dinner hosted for the Copper Queens in Lusaka last night, the President said the fourth estate needs to focus on positive reviews of the team’s performances.
He said this was important as the team needs everyone’s support.
“I implore you to continue building and encouraging the teams by sharing positive reviews and feedback and not to always dwell so much on the negatives in the team and in camp. Let us be our sister’s keeper and continue to shine light on the team as our support is very much needed,” he said.
Hichilema thanked the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts, Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) and the technical team for preparing the team in readiness for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
He called on FAZ to organise more high profile international friendlies for the girls as this would give them more exposure.
The President congratulated the girls for making Zambia proud by flying the Zambian flag at the tournament.
Speaking at the same event, FAZ President, Andrew Kamanga, disclosed that all the players in the national team will receive 30 thousand United States dollars revised renumeration from world football governing body FIFA for participating at the World Cup.
Kamanga said $960,000 was made available to the association by FIFA which was used to prepare the team in various international friendlies leading up to the tournament.
FAZ also thanked government for harmonizing renumeration at international tournaments for the women’s and men’s national team saying this is encouraging for the Copper Queens.
“We wish to congratulate government through the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts for introducing equal pay for both men and women national team representing Zambia in Africa Cup and World Cup competitions. This is commendable and will go a long way in motivating particularly the Copper Queens,” he said.
He also appealed to government to consider sport especially football as a priority sector under ZDA so that foreign investors can invest more into sporting activities.
Coach Bruce Mwape led the Copper Queens to a maiden appearance at the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand where they lost to Japan and Spain but defeated Costa Rica in their last match in Group C which, however, was not enough to book them a place to the knockout phase of the competition.
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