By James Bakama and Swalley Kenyi
You can call them mind games. They started off by saying the Namboole pitch was substandard, then they complained about the stadium’s dressing rooms.
News about the hotel followed a day of uncertainty as domestic soccer body FUFA was kept guessing as to exactly when the Zambian national side would arrive for the decisive Nations Cup qualifier due Saturday.
“Zambia is not stating exactly when they will jet in,” complained FUFA Publicist Rogers Mulindwa at the weekly press conference at Namboole.
As for the hotel, the Zambians, who sent an advance team to Uganda, have been asked to go to a hotel of their choice and pay for any extra costs.
Confederation of African Football rules require the hosting team to cater for the visitors’ security, internal travel and full board accommodation and a three star hotel.
The Chipolopolo will be travelling in a chartered flight from a camp in South Africa.
Teams especially from West Africa usually keep their itinerary secret in a bid to throw the hosts off balance with a sudden arrival.
One of the most dramatic of such surprises was in the 1994 Africa Cup Winners’ Cup final between Kenya Breweries and DC. Motema Pembe. Everyone expected the Kenyan giants to emerge champions after holding the DR. Congo side 2-2 at the 80,000 seater Stade de Martyrs.
Motema Pembe kept Kenya guessing until the day of the match. They eventually jetted in barely two hours to kick off and went on to ambush the hosts 3-0.