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Be patient, Mulenga tells soccer fans

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By MUKWIMA CHILALA
THERE is need for soccer fans to exercise patience with national soccer team players and instead encourage them, Sports Minister Emmanuel Mulenga has said.

Mulenga says there was no need to criticise everyone as it was demoralising the players ahead of a crucial Africa Cup of qualifier match against Botswana next month.
The minister noted that beating South Africa away in an international friendly on Sunday was a morale booster for the team but there was need to work as a unit as they were not playing for themselves but the country.
Mulenga said that the coming two games against Botswana were must-win games so as to avoid the prospect of missing the Africa Cup three times.
”Soccer fans, lets encourage our players, even you as a media, we as a ministry, let us encourage our players to do the best, let us not criticise everything . They just lose one game we are there criticising, we are demoralising them let’s give them the support they need,” Mulenga said.
“My advice to them is that they need to work as a team and they need to play for mother Zambia and not as individuals. They are not playing for themselves but for the Nation.
“We have two AfCON qualifiers next month and we have to win at all costs for us to be in a better position to qualify because there is no way we can miss AfCON three times,” Mulenga said.
Zambia last week played three friendlies against Malawi, Kenya and South as part of their preparation for next month’s crucial Afcon qualifiers against Botswana.