Zambia are seeking a first-ever appearance at the FIFA World Cup finals after some neat-misses in the past.
The current squad consists of players who ply their trade in South Africa and the smaller leagues of Europe, with striker Chris Katongo of recently relegated German Bundesliga II side Arminia Bielefeld the star man.
Coached by Frenchman Hervé Renard, once the assistant of Claude LeRoy with the Ghana national side, they have reached nine of the last 10 Nations Cup finals, though they have not been beyond the first round since 1996.
The team suffered disappointment in 1974 and 1994 when they reached the final of the continental showpiece, the latter effort made all the more remarkable by the 1993 aeroplane crash that nearly wiped out the entire national side, killing 18 players in a tragedy that still resounds with Zambians today.
Zambian FA president Kalusha Bwalya, then a player with PSV Eindhoven in Netherlands and not on the flight, quickly formed a new national squad, reaching the Nations Cup final in 1994 that saw defeat by Nigeria, and narrowly missing out on qualification to the 1994 World Cup in the US.
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