The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), football legends and families of the fallen heroes converged at Heroes Acre to mark the 28th anniversary of the Gabon disaster.

FAZ president Andrew Kamanga led the commemoration with the Zambia Coaches, Footballers and Multi-purpose Corporative Society members joining in the commemoration.

Government has decreed that the official commemoration will be held every five years with the next event scheduled for 2023.

However, FAZ and the families of the deceased have kept alive the annual commemoration.

“Today as we gather, we should always strive to honour the heroes with glory. Their lives remain a symbol of the greatest sacrifice one can ever make for their country. That is why today we turn up to celebrate their lives. We are grateful for the memories and accomplishments that they gave to their country,” Kamanga said.

The FAZ president said that qualification to the World Cup would be a befitting honour to the fallen heroes as they died on that journey.

“Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup commence in June and we expect that the Chipolopolo will remember these heroes as they undertake that mission. We have no doubt that the team will also be inspired by a sense of history and pride as they undertake that mission,” he said.

“To the families, we are always encouraged that you have always been here for the past 28 years to pay homage to these heroes that meant everything to you. Despite government guiding that an official event will be held every five years, we have not stopped converging every year to honour our heroes.”

The next official function will be held in 2023 and Kamanga revealed that plans were already underway to have some activities that will mark the occasion.

Zambia Fallen Heroes 1993 representative Tamara Mtonga said the families are resolved to maintain the 1993 legacy by creative innovative ways of empowering families.

Zambia Coaches, Footballers and Multi-purpose Corporative Society representative Chiti Chola said the nation lost dedicated individuals that raised the country’s flags across the continent.

Full List of Fallen Heroes
Efford Chabala (Mufulira Wanderers), Richard Mwanza (Kabwe Warriors)
John Soko, Eston Mulenga (both Nkana), Whiteson Changwe (Kabwe Warriors), Robert Watiyakeni (Dynamos FC-RSA), Winter Mumba (Power Dynamos), Samuel Chomba (Dynamos-RSA)
Derby Makinka (El Tiffaq-Saudi Arabia), Moses Chikwalakwala, Numba Mwila (both Nkana), Wisdom Chansa (Dynamos FC-SA), Godfrey Kangwa (Olympique Casablanca-Morocco)
Kelvin ‘Malaza’ Mutale (El-Tiffaq-Saudi Arabia), Timothy Mwitwa (Nkana), Moses Masuwa (Kabwe Warriors), Kenan Simambe (Nkana), Patrick ‘Bomber’ Banda (Profund Warriors)
Godfrey “Ucar” Chitalu (coach), Alex Chola (assistant coach), Wilson Mtonga (doctor), Wilson Sakala
Michael Mwape (FAZ Chairman), Nelson Zimba (public servant), Joseph Bwalya Salim (journalist)
Colonel Fenton Mhone (pilot), Lt Colonel Victor Mubanga (pilot), Lt Colonel James Sachika (pilot)
Warrant Officer Edward Nambote (fitter), Corporal Tomson Sakala (steward)

-FAZ Media