Following an earthquake that hit the Kahramanmaras Province in Southern Turkey and Northern Syria, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) wishes to inform its members and stakeholders that all the players plying their trade in that country are safe.
FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala says that his office has been in touch with the players and relevant government officials in Turkey to appreciate the situation on the ground.
A rescue operation is continuing across much of Southern Turkey and Northern Syria after two huge earthquakes killed more than 4,300 people.
Zambia has four women national team players plying their trade in the Turkish topflight.
The quartet comprises Hazel Nali, Margaret Belemu, Prisca Chilufya and Misozi Zulu.
Additionally, defender Martha Tembo and midfielders Hellen Chanda and Ireen Lungu who play in Kazakhstan are also in Turkey for pre-season with WFC BIIK-Shymkent.
“Our thoughts are with the Turkish people and Syria following the tragic earthquake that hit that region. Our immediate reaction was to check with our players in that country and we have been able to establish that they are all safe,” says Kashala.
“They are mostly dotted around Istanbul and are away from the affected area.”
Goalkeeper Hazel Nali is on the books of Fatih Vatan Spor based in Istanbul, while Margaret Belemu and Misozi Zulu play for Hakkrigucu Spor in Hakkari with Prisca Chilufya based in Istanbul where she plays for Fatih Karagumruk.
Kashala says it is too early to tell whether the Turkish Cup penciled for February 13-22 will take off in light of the tragedy.
“We await communication of the final decision on the Turkish Women’s Cup from the organizers and the Turkish FA. For now, the priority is the safety of our players and we will keep our fingers crossed as events unfold.”
For and on behalf of:
FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA