The Zambia squad to take part in the 2021 African Nations Championship left for Cameroon on Wednesday but without seven members of the final squad that will take part in the tournament.
Four players have been held back while they undergo further medical checks before being allowed to travel, while another three are involved in CAF Club commitments over the next few days and will join up with the squad once they have completed those.
“The players are not out of the squad but will miss the pre-CHAN tournament that kicks off on Friday in Yaoundé,” FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala said.
“Our top priority now is the health of all the players and the COVID-19 spike has placed additional demands that are part of the CAF and FIFA regulations.”
That CHAN pre-tournament will be excellent preparation for the side. Zambia will take on Niger in their first game of the mini-competition on January 2, before they meet Uganda two days later. They will then meet hosts Cameroon in the final match on January 7.
Zambia have travelled with 31 names on their list, though that will have to be cut down by the time the tournament gets under way.
Zambia is in Group D at CHAN alongside Guinea, Namibia and Tanzania. The competition is open only to players who play their trade in their domestic leagues.
The CHAN runs from January 16 to February 10, 2021.
Goalkeepers: Charles Kalumba (Prison Leopards), Siame Lameck (Kabwe Warriors), Chooma Patrick (KYSA), Richard Nyirenda (Nchanga Rangers )
Defenders: Mwape Clement, Adrian Chama ( Both Zesco United ), Chanda Dominic (Kabwe Warriors), Mafwenta Golden (Buildcon ), Banda Luka (Napsa Stars), Chiboni Kondwani, Zacharia Chilongoshi, Benson Sakala (All Power Dynamos ) Benedict Chepeshi (Red Arrows ), Mwansa Pride (Nkwazi)
Midfielders: Kelvin Kampamba, Bruce Musakanya ( Both Zesco United), Leonard Mulenga, Jack Chirwa (Both Green Buffaloes) Spencer Sautu, Chaniza Zulu( Both Power Dynamos ), Harrison Chisala (Nkana), Kelvin Kapumbu, Albert Kangwanda (Both Zanaco), Paul Katema, Felix Bulaya (Both Red Arrows ), Amity Shamende (Green Eagles), Sikombe Collins (Lusaka Dynamos )
Strikers: Rodger Kola, Phiri Moses (Both Zanaco), Friday Samu (Green Buffaloes), Emmanuel Chabula (Lusaka Dynamos).