Zambians make their mark after COSAFA Under-20 Championships win

The COSAFA Under-20 Championship has always been a fantastic breeding ground for young talent from the Southern African region and the 2017 edition in Zambia from December 6-16 will be no different.

Last year the tournament helped to launch the careers of a number of stars from across the region, including hosts Zambia, who saw a number of their championship-winning stars going on to win moves to Europe.

Here are three that benefitted from the exposure they received in the 2016 championship played in South Africa.
Sakala is seen as one of the rising stars of Zambian football having burst onto the scene at Nchanga Rangers and later playing for Zanaco.

He was a star in the 2017 COSAFA Under-20 Championships that drew the attention of scouts and within two months had signed a contract with top Russian side Spartak Moscow.

He has initially started playing for the reserve side, but it won’t be long before he makes his senior bow.

He made his Zambian senior team debut in a World Cup qualifier in September.


Mwepu was another of the star names at the 2017 COSAFA Under-20 Championships and has since moved to Austrian side FC Liefering, on loan from Red Bull Salzburg.

The teenage midfielder started his career with Kafue Celtic FF and later played for Napsa Stars.

He scored his debut goal for the senior Zambia national team in the 3-1 victory over Algeria in September.
He has also been a massive hit at Liefering, netting six goals in 12 league starts.


The 18-year-old is another huge talent for Zambia who recently signed a contract with top Swedish side Djurgardens.

Chilufya was one of the goal scorers for Zambia in the 2017 COSAFA Under-20 Championships final against South Africa and made a huge impression at the tournament.

He later went on to feature at the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, scoring in Zambia’s 2-1 win over Portugal.

He will now seek to build his career in Sweden over the next few years. He was denied a national team debut against Nigeria recently due to paperwork issues that stopped him travelling.