Zambia FA president, Kalusha Bwalya made the declaration after his side sailed through to 2015 Africa Under-23 Championship play offs to be hosted by Senegal at the end of the year from which three top teams will represent the continent.
“We have to believe in ourselves that we have dedicated bunch of boys that can rise to the occasion when an opportunity presents itself,” he told the local media.
This was after his team booted out West Africa soccer giants, Cote d’Ivoire 4-3 on post match penalties after barren full time play of second round return leg match, following a similar result in the first encounter played in Abidjan.
Bwalya vowed to engage an extra gear in the team’s preparations for Senegal play offs so that the Chipolopolo should be at the biggest global sports festival in Rio Games next year for the second time after ages.
“It’s important that we prepare well between now and December that when we go to Senegal we can do the right thing so that we fly the Zambian eagle in Rio.We will definitely be prepared when we go to Senegal,” he declared.
Zambia had a trailblazing run when it made its maiden appearance at the Olympics Games held in Seoul South Korea in 1988.
In a round-robin stage, Chipolopolo steamrolled Guatemala 4-0, then drew with Iraq 2-2 and wrapped the show by massacring Italy 4-0, but bowed out in the knockout stage where they were hammered 4-0 by West Germany.
Overall, Bwalya walked out from Seoul games with a total of six goals tally under his belt.
He netted a brace in the first game against Guatemala while midfielder, the late Derby Makinka claimed the other brace.
In a second encounter against Iraq which ended in 2-2 deadlock Bwalya shared the spoils with striking partner Stone Nyirenda but he rounded up the round-robin stage by banging a hat trick while another striking partner Jonson Bwalya scored the other goal.
The late Makinka died in the infamous 1993 Gabon air disaster in which nineteen Zambian national soccer team players, six officials, a journalist and five crew members perished. There were no survivors.