FORMER Chipolopolo coach Herve Renard says Zambia will always be in his heart.
And FIFA president Gianni Infantino has paid tribute to the 1993 Gabon victims by sending a message of goodwill and solidarity to the Zambian people ahead of the 25th anniversary.
Meanwhile, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) yesterday directed all teams playing league matches to observe a minute of applause in honour of the fallen heroes.
Renard, who led Zambia to Africa Cup glory in 2012, talked of his affection for the Zambian game.
“I would like to express my love and solidarity for your country. Zambia you are in my heart and you will always be. Today for the anniversary for this tragedy, I would just like to express my support to you. You know in 2012 we fought, we won for all these guy who were in this tragedy…. We will never forget. Thank you Zambia, all the best,” he said in a video message.
Zambia yesterday commemorated with messages of goodwill and solidarity pouring into Football House with various leading football personalities penning notes.
And Infantino extended his good wishes to the Zambian football family that he hopes will draw from the spirit of the fallen heroes that came close to World Cup qualification before their demise.
The list of players that perished were Efford Chabala, John Soko, Whiteson Changwe, Robert Watiyakeni, Eston Mulenga, Derby Makinka, Moses Chikwalakwala, Godfrey Kangwa, Kelvin Mutale, Wisdom Chansa and Timothy Mwitwa.
The rest of the players were Richard Mwanza, Winter Mumba, Samuel Chomba, Moses Masuwa, Patrick Banda, Kenani Simambe, Numba Mwila, and coaches Godfrey ‘Ucar’ Chitalu and Alex Chola.
Crew members were Phenton Mhone (head pilot), James Sachika (co-pilot), Victor Mubanga (co-pilot), Edward Nambote (flight planner) and Thomson Sakala (steward).
Others who died were Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Michael Mwape, executive member Wilson Sakala, team medic Wilson Mtonga, deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sport Nelson Zimba and Joseph Salim (journalist).
Meanwhile, in a communique to all its affiliates, FAZ Head of Administration Colonel Andrew Siame said the moment of applause would be to salute the fallen heroes for their achievements with the national team.