Zambia mourns Lota’s passing

Football Association of Zambia President Kalusha Bwalya paid his respects to the assistant coach.

Moroka Swallows assistant coach Dennis Lota. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Football Association of Zambia President Kalusha Bwalya on Friday said he is saddened by Moroka Swallows assistant coach and former striker Dennis Lota's sudden death.

The 40-year-old died after a short illness on Tuesday.

Bwalya says the mood in Zambia is sombre and the entire nation is in mourning.

"It's a very sad moment for everyone in Zambia. We are all saddened with the news of Dennis Lota's passing. He was very liked by everyone in Zambia."

The former Zambian coach recalled Lota's first days when he began his soccer career.

"I have fond memories of him as a player. I knew him back when he played for Konkola Blades FC where he made his name, which earned him a place in the national team."

Balwa says Lota was a very talented player and he enjoyed their partnership during the 1996 African Cup of Nations held in South Africa.

"We were a very good team and Dennis was a very good team player, a very humble guy and a very down to earth person who worked hard. He did everything for the team to succeed. He had a very distinguished career here in Zambia."

Bwalya says Lota was starting to make his name as a coach and a mentor to many players, both in Zambia and South Africa.

A memorial service for Lota will be held on Monday at the Harverst Time Dome in Claremont, Johannesburg.

His funeral will take place in South Africa on Wednesday.