STRIKER Fashion Sakala is eligible to play in the Under 20 World Cup, according FAZ communications manager Desmond Katongo.
Sakala, who turned 20 last week, was one of the standout players at the just ended U-20 AfCON which Zambia lifted with the former Zanaco player netting three goals, just a goal shy of the joint top scorers.
He, however, sent shock waves immediately after the tournament when a picture of him celebrating his 20thbirthday was circulated on Facebook carrying a message that he would miss the World Cup because he had reached the age limit.
But Katongo, in an interview, said as far as Football House was concerned, Sakala would play in the World Cup as the question of his eligibility did not arise because he was not yet 21.
“Fashion is eligible to play in the World Cup, his eligibility cannot be doubted because the tournament is for Under-20, meaning 20 and below, so he is eligible. People should not be worried because the player is in the coach’s plans,” said Katongo.
The Zambia U-20 will set base in England to prepare for the World Cup to be staged in South Korea in May and will have a feel of the Korean weather conditions after they were invited by that country to play in the four nations’ tournament just before the May event, according to FAZ president Andrew Kamanga.
Meanwhile, Fazfootball reports that Conlyde Luchanga (Israel), Patson Daka (Austria), Mumba Mwape (Spain) and Fashion (Russia) will not be part of the squad that went into camp yesterday to prepare for the four-nation invitational tournament beginning next week in South Korea.
The quartet returns to club duties in Europe while Portugal based Emmanuel Banda and Denmark based Kenneth Kalunga are available.
Coach Beston Chambeshi has in their place summoned Stephen Chulu, Happy Nsofwa, Musonda Siame and Joseph Phiri.
The four teams participating in the tournament that runs from March 21-31 are hosts Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and African champions Zambia.
Goalkeepers: Mangani Banda (Zanaco), Samson Banda (Zesco United), James Phiri (Circuit City)
Defenders: Moses Nyondo (Nkana), Prosper Chiluya (Kafue Celtic), Benson Chali (Forest Rangers), Solomon Sakala (Napsa Stars), Shemmy Mayembe (Zesco United), Edward Tembo (Gomes FC)
Midfielders: Sydney Phiri (Gomes FC), Crispin Sakulanda (Mufulira Wanderers), Boyd Musonda (Zanaco), Harrison Musonda (Nkana), Enock Mwepu (Napsa Stars), Kenneth Kalunga (IFS, Denmark),
Strikers: Emmanuel Banda (Esmoriz, Portugal), Edward Chilufya (Mpande Youth)