African Nations Cup:

Zambia Honours the Fallen with Victory

August 10, 2013  |  By Xabiso Nobathana, South Africa

African Nations Cup:

Photo : Colin Bamford/

The human spirit can be a powerful thing, especially when motivated and spurred on by the drive to pay tribute to fallen heroes.

The memory of 18 players killed in an air crash not far from the Libreville stadium almost 20 years ago carried Zambia’s current generation to their extraordinary African Nations Cup triumph over the much respected Ivory Coast, captained by Didier Drogba.

The victory came after Drogba squandered a penalty 20 minutes from the end of the game, allowing Zambia to force the game into extra time and finally going on to win 8-7 on penalties.

Victorious Zambian players explained the importance of honouring their fallen compatriots, aptly naming the 18 ‘a silent force’. Drawing inspiration and strength from the love and support in the crowd and having something to fight for just proves: the human spirit is a tough and resilient entity and when saddled into action anything is possible.

This game will go down in history not only for the amazing victory Zambia had on the field, but also why this victory meant so much to the players and an entire nation.

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