Zambia players celebrate victory over Ivory Coast in CAN final

The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) says it is monitoring with concern the outbreak of war between Sudan and recently independent South Sudan.

African champions Zambia will face Sudan on June 2 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier in Khartoum.

FAZ communications manager Erick Mwanza said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the association is keeping an eye on the happenings in Sudan and South Sudan.

Sudan has declared war on South Sudan following weeks of border fighting between the two countries over the Heglig oil field and nearby towns.

Several bombs have been dropped on the South Sudanese border of Bentiu.

The African Union has called on Sudan and South Sudan to abide by a plan that will see both parties pull forces out of a disputed border area.

Mwanza said both FAZ and the world soccer governing body FIFA are monitoring the war between Sudan and it neighbour.

“If the situation in May gets worse FIFA will not allow the match to be played in a war zone. This is a FIFA World Cup match and FIFA are closely monitoring the situation,” he said.

Mwanza said the Chipolopolo’s preparations will not be affected by the happenings in Sudan and South Sudan.

“We will not relent as we prepare for the match against Sudan,” he said.

The Chipolopolo are expected to camp in Johannesburg on May 20.

Ghana and Lesotho who meet in Accra on June 2 are the other teams in Group D.

And speaking later at a Press briefing, Mwanza said: “FIFA has got its own internal monitoring system and as we speak they are fully aware of the situation in Sudan maybe without even us writting they will suggest that the game be shifted somewhere.

“Should FIFA delay then we will write to request that the game be moved from the national stadium in Khartoum which Sudan has registered to a different country,” Mwanza said.

Meanwhile, Mwanza has announced that a FIFA official is expected in Zambia this month to inspect the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola ahead of the June 9 World Cup qualifier against Ghana.

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