Just a week after some of the Zambia womens national team players were promoted by the Zambia army for their splendid performance at the Womens Africa cup of nations , the country’s airforce commmander has also announced that the copper queens players that play for the Airforce sponsored football club Red Arrows will be recruited in the service to honor their contribution to the national team.
Margret Belemu, Ochumba Lumbaji, Mary Wilomba and skipper Grace Chanda who is left the airforce sponsored side last season for Kazakhstan club BIIK Kazgurt are the four copper queens players that will be recruited in the Zambia airforce as soldiers.
According to a press statement issued by the Zambia Air Force, “The Zambia Air Force Commander, Lt Gen Colin Barry has with immediate effect employed all the Red Arrows Women’s Football Club players and assured those that featured at the WAFCON in Morocco that they would be part of the recruitment of Defence Force personnel announced by the Defence Minister.
“Lt Gen Colin Barry was speaking when he hosted Red Arrows Women and Copper Queens players Margret Belemu, Mary Wilombe and Ochumba Oseke Lubanji at Zambia Air Force Headquarters on Friday, 05 July 2022.
“Lt Gen Barry commended the Red Arrows Women’s Football players for emerging second during the 2021/2022 FAZ Women’s League and minting bronze at the WAFCON in the 3rd and 4th playoffs against Nigeria.
“Lt Gen Barry also commended, Copper Queens Interim Captain Grace Chanda, who is away at her base in Kazakhstan, on her nomination as CAF Women’s Player of the year saying that the nomination in itself is a great achievement. He also praised the ‘Amazing Grace’ for providing leadership to the team.
“The Air Force Commander also recognized Grace Chanda and Margret Belemu for being listed among the top 11 the Total Energies 2022 WAFCON alongside other players from South Africa, Morocco and Nigeria.
“Lt Gen Barry also announced that all the 35 Red Arrows Women’s Players were employed by the Zambia Air Force as Cilivians and the the Four (04) that represented the Zambia Air Force at national level would be recruited as soldiers in the next recruitment.
“Margret Belemu thanked the Air Force Commander and said joining the Zambia Air Force as a soldier was a dream come true for her and her team mates.” Concluded the statement.
The Zambia womens national team have received all sorts of accolades in their country after against all odds storming the semifinals of the Womens Africa cup of nations and qualifying to the FIFA womens World Cup for the first time in the history of Zambian womens football.
They finished third at the WAFCON after beating record Champions Nigeria 1-0 in the third place playoff at the tournament held in Morocco which was won by South Africa who happened to be the only team to defeat the copper queens in the tournament.