CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League champions Chicken Inn’s Caf Champions League preparations have been boosted by the team’s invitation to play in a four-team tournament in Zambia.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Zambian champions, Zesco United extended an invitation to Chicken Inn to participate in the tournament, which will be played between January 27 and February 3 at the Levi Mwanawasa Stadium.
The tournament in Zambia also features Zesco, Zanaco and Tanzanian side Azam FC.
Correspondence from Zesco’s administrative officer, Frank Chitambala to the Gamecocks, dated January 15, states that the competition has no prize money, but is for clubs taking part in Caf competitions and Zesco will finance Chicken Inn’s stay in Zambia.
“Zesco United Football Club will be hosting its annual four-team pre-season international tournament at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola from January 27 to February 3 2016,” the letter reads.
“This tournament, which regularly features Zesco United, Mamelodi Sundowns and TP Mazembe, is used as a preparation for the Caf club competitions, as it gives teams the much-needed match fitness and practice.”
Sundowns and the Democratic Republic of Congo giants TP Mazembe turned down the invitation this year.
“This year’s tournament will feature hosts Zesco United, Zanaco and Azam FC from Zambia and we are hereby inviting Chicken Inn FC to be part of the tournament. The tournament is played on a league basis, with all four teams playing each other on three match days.”
Zesco United will cater for accommodation and meals, as well as transport during the competition for a delegation of 30 members of Chicken Inn FC.
Chicken Inn secretary, Tavengwa Hara acknowledged receipt of the invitation and said the club was corresponding with both Zifa and the Premier Soccer League to seek clearance to travel for the tournament.
Chicken Inn begin their maiden Caf Champions League journey with a date with South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns at Luveve Stadium on February 13.
Zesco United take on Al Ghazha Wau FC of South Sudan in the preliminary round first leg of the Caf Champions League on February 12 in Zambia.
Zanaco, the Zambian Premier league runners-up, received a bye into the first round of the Caf Confederation Cup and await the winners between Harare City and AS Adema of Madagascar, who clash in the preliminary round.