Zambia national football team: squad, coach, world rankings, AFCON, nickname

Zambia national football team: squad, coach, world rankings, AFCON, nickname

Claudia Kogi
January 26, 2022 at 12:06 PM

The Zambia national football team represents Zambia in men's international association football, and it is governed by the Football Association of Zambia, FAZ. While the team has registered three Africa Cup of Nations final appearances to its credit, it has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals.

Zambia national football team
Photo: (modified by author)
Source: UGC

What is the Zambia national football team's nickname? During the 1980s, the team was referred to as the KK 11. However, after the country attained multiparty politics, the team was dubbed Chipolopolo, Copper Bullets. What is Zambia's national football team roster? Look at this article and find more fascinating information.

Profile summary

  • Full name: Zambia National Football Team
  • Nickname: Chipolopolo, Copper Bullets
  • Managed by: Football Association of Zambia
  • Founded: 1964
  • Colours: Green, yellow, black, and white
  • Federation: CAF
  • Head coach: Beston Chambeshi
  • Captain: Fashion Sakala
  • Most caps: Kennedy Mweene (122)
  • Top scorer: Godfrey Chitalu (79)
  • FIFA ranking: 88 (as of December 2021)
  • Stadium: National Heroes Stadium
  • FIFA code: ZAM

Zambia national football team history

Following acceptance into FIFA, Zambia's first official match was played and won on 3 July 1964 in a game against Tanzania. However, Zambia was not yet independent during the game as it attained its independence in October 1964.

Zambia national football team squad
Toaster Nsabata of Zambia during the International Friendly Match between Japan and Zambia at Raymond James Stadium in Clearwater, Florida. Photo: Mark Kolbe
Source: Getty Images

On 22 November 1969, Zambia encountered a massive defeat in history in a match against DR Congo with 10-1. As a result, the Zambia national football team failed to qualify for the World Cup finals tournament.

AFCON campaign

The team made its AFCON debut in 1974 when they beat Cote d' Ivoire 1-0, lost to Egypt with a 1-3, and later beat Uganda with scores 1-0. The team finished second in the group and qualified for the semi-finals, where they beat DR Congo with a score of 4-2.

Is Zambia national football team playing AFCON 2021?

Copper Bullets failed to qualify for the 2021 edition of the continental showpiece following their failure to reach the finals for the 2017 competition after losing to Guinea Bissau. As a result, Zambia's last appearance in the AFCON competition was in 2015.

Zambia national football team trophies

Zambia has had several international honours since they debuted in the football scene. They won the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and qualified for the finals. Additionally, they won the CECAFA or Gossage Cup in 1995 against Uganda.

Zambia national football team coach

While a team's success is highly dependent on a coach, fans often want to know details about each appointed coach. So, who is Zambia's coach as of 2022? Have a look at the profile below and discover more information about him.

Zambia national football team: squad, coach, world rankings, AFCON, nickname
Zambian striker Patson Daka in action during an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying football match played between Zambia and Zimbabwe in Harare. Photo: Jekesai Njikizana
Source: Getty Images

Profile summary

  • Full name: Beston Chambeshi
  • Date of birth: 4 April 1960
  • Place of birth: Zambia
  • Age: 61 years old (as of January 2022)
  • Zodiac sign: Aries
  • Nationality: Zambian
  • Height in feet: 5'8"
  • Height in centimetres: 173

Zambia national football team captain

Who is Zambia's captain as of 2022? Have a look at his profile below and find more information, including details about his age.

Profile summary

  • Full name: Junior Fashion Sakala
  • Date of birth: 14 March 1997
  • Place of birth: Chipata, Zambia
  • Age: 24 years old (as of January 2022)
  • Zodiac sign: Pisces
  • Nationality: Zambian
  • Height in feet: 5'10"
  • Height in centimetres: 178

Zambia national football team world rankings

Zambia sits in position 88 globally with 1264.64 points according to the latest FIFA rankings. So what is Zambia's national football team's highest FIFA ranking? Copper Bullets' highest FIFA ranking was in position 15, in 1996. Their lowest ranking was when they took position 102 in 2011.

Zambia national football team players

Here is the squad called up for the FIFA World Cup qualification matches.


  • Cyril Chibwee
  • Lameck Siame
  • Gregory Sanjase


  • Benedict Chepeshi
  • Prosper Chiluya
  • Gaboniso Magenge
  • Tandi Mwape
  • Golden Mafwenta
  • Dominic Chanda
  • Isaac Shamujompa


  • Salulani Phiri
  • Benson Sakala
  • Collins Sikombe
  • Kings Kangwa
  • Spencer Satu
  • Paul Katema
  • Prince Mumba


  • Lubambo Musonda
  • Amity Shamende
  • Fashion Sakala
  • Moses Phiri
  • Patson Daka
  • Brian Mwila
Zambia national football team squad
Members of Copper Bullets stand for the national anthem before the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 group C match between Costa Rica and Zambia in Cheonan, South Korea. Photo: Maddie Meyer
Source: Getty Images

Zambia soccer team crash

A plane flying the team to Senegal for the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifier fell out of the sky, causing tragedy for the team. Initially, they had planned three stops for fueling. The plane controllers noticed some engine problems after the first stop.

While the main cause of the crash pointed to insufficient engine power, all 30 passengers, players included, and the crew onboard succumbed.

The Zambia national football team has constantly proven to be a strong yet consistent team. Even though they have never qualified for the World Cup competitions, their fans are still optimistic that they will bring the Cup home someday.

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Claudia Kogi photo
Claudia Kogi
Sports Facts Writer