By Ameenu Shardow
Zambia FA boss Kalusha Bwalya is relieved to be avoiding Ghana at the group stage of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The African champions go into Wednesday evening’s draw for the tournament to be hosted by South Africa as one of the four top seeds.
This means the Chipolopolo will not come up against Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana and hosts South Africa at least until after the first round.
Despite the fact that Zambia beat Ghana on its way to winning the last edition staged in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, Bwalya is happy to be avoiding the Black Stars very early in the competition.
“It’s the first time ever that we are seeded and I’m happy with that,” he said.
“We will avoid the hosts (South Africa), Ghana and Ivory Coast – which are all tough teams.
“We won’t have added pressure as we attempt to defend this title. We played against Ghana in the semi-finals in Gabon and Ivory Coast in the final.
“It would be great to face teams we haven’t played in a while because that could be our motivation.
“It could lift our game because we don’t know much about those teams.”
Ghana have been looking for an opportunity to avenge the painful 1-0 defeat suffered at the hands of Zambia at the semi final stage of the 2012 AFCON.
The Black Stars again suffered another 1-0 defeat against the Chipolopolo in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers in the teams’ only meeting after Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.