African football has certainly been on the up in the last decade, but there are several countries still left in the continent to have not featured in the FIFA World Cup. Zambia is one of them. Since joining FIFA in 1964, the team has not reached the finals even once. However, the local team has been improving every year in this culminated in their 2012 Africa Cup of Nations success in shocking fashion. This has led to new belief within the national team that they can hope for qualification to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Qualification for this tournament has just begun in several parts of the world.

CaptainRainfordKalabasays that the team are extremely unhappy with the way they failed to progress past the group stages of the Africa Cup of Nations. Hence, they have set out to overcome this disappointment by doing well at the qualification stages. The likes of Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Ghana will once again be expected to qualify for the World Cup. These heavyweights have consistently made an appearance in the finals, but they are yet to go the full length and win the title itself. In the last two Africa Cup of Nations, the team has failed to get past the group stages.

“After we came back from Equatorial Guinea, we met and went through a lot of issues with the coach and some of the guys who are not here. We made one important benchmark in light of our performance at the Africa Cup and we told ourselves that we need to consolidate our team.We have one target to qualify to the World Cup. We have been to the Africa Cup so many times so we are now working on building a team to qualify to the World Cup for the first time in Zambia’s history,” said Kalaba.