Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Canada and Russia exchange snarky tweets

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Niger: Top opposition figure to be questioned in baby-trafficking scandal

Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president

    Read more

Sport

Zambia beat Ivory Coast 8-7 in finals

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-13

Zambia defeated Ivory Coast 8-7 on penalties to win its first Africa Cup of Nations in Libreville, Gabon on Sunday. Stophira Sunzu scored the deciding sudden-death penalty.

AFP - Coach Herve Renard believes Zambia's shock defeat of Ivory Coast in Sunday's Africa Cup of Nations final was "written in the sky".

The Frenchman was referring to Zambia's quest to be crowned the continental champions in homage to their fallen comrades in the national team who were killed in a plane crash off the Libreville coast 19 years ago.

"We know what we wanted to honour this evening, it was a sign of destiny, written in the sky, there was a force with us. I think God has helped us and given us strength," Renard told a post-final press conference.

After Zambia's stunning 8-7 penalty shoot out defeat of hot favourites Ivory Coast Renard embraced Kalusha Bwalya, the Zambian Football Federation chief and only survivor of the ill-fated '93 national team.

Bwalya it was who had enough confidence to appoint Renard, then assistant to Ghana manager Claude LeRoy, as coach of Zambia in 2008, and again to re-sign him in 2010.

Renard reflected: "Kalusha was one of the best Zambian players of the last century.

"Then he was coach of the national team, now our president.

"He survived the crash, he was supposed to have been on that plane which was going to play a World Cup qualifer against Senegal.

"He knows how terrible this crash was for the nation.

"I want to dedicate this title to him, he gave me my chance when nobody knew me.

"With Claude LeRoy and Kalusha I have been fortunate to have met these two people along my journey."

He reckoned Zambia had been lucky to play all their games up to the final across the Gabonese border in Equatorial Guinea, explaining: "It was only possible for us to return to Gabon (to honour the 1993 team) if we made the final, that gave us incredible strength."

Zambian midfielder Isaac Cansa said they appreciated they had achieved something enormous for the Zambian people.

"The 1993 tragedy played its role. We weren't favourites for the competition or the final, but we believed in ourselves."

Renard, who has joined a select club of Frenchman to win the Nations Cup, a group that includes LeRoy and Roger Lemerre, who won in 2004 with Tunisia, says his future lies with Zambia.

"It's a fantastic country. I'm proud to bring the Cup back to Zambia."

Even though it was Stoppila Sunzu who converted the winning penalty his teammate Rainford Kalaba had had the chance to score the decisive spot-kick after Kolo Toure had missed the Ivory Coast's seventh.

"They call Kalaba 'the master' because he's such a fantastic player, but, like (Diego) Maradona or (Michel) Platini he's a human being and is capable of missing something. This wasn't the right time for him to miss, but luckily along came Stoppila to give us the title."

 

Date created : 2012-02-13

  • 2012 Africa Cup of Nations

    Zambia seek to honour fallen idols against Ivory Coast

    Read more

  • 2012 AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS

    Zambia reaches final after surprise win over Ghana

    Read more

  • AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS

    Ghana heads to semi-finals after 2-1 win over Tunisia

    Read more

COMMENT(S)