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12.12.2007 Football News

Abedi Pele mobbed in Zambia

The three-time African Footballer of the Year Abedi "Pele" Ayew needed the aid of policemen in Zambia to whisk him to safety after playing in a local match in Chibolya.

The Ghana-born former footballer was mobbed by thousands of fans who thronged the Chibolya Park to watch the exhibition game alongside Zambian legend Kalusha Bwalya on Sunday.

Pele, who is touring some African countries with the African Cup of Nations trophy, captained the Chiparamba Academy team in a game watched by the country?s vice President Rupiah Banda.

But he found it was virtually impossble to leave the grounds becasue of the thousands of fans who wanted to shake him hands after the game.

The enthusiastic fans trekked to Chibolya grounds to have a glimpse of Pele and Kalusha, who captained the Kalu Stars and Pele was impressed with what he saw.

?I am very happy with the way people of Zambia received me and the supprot they have shown since I arrived here,? Abedi said.

?I was positively surprised with the way thousands turned up to watch the local game and I hope we can be of some inspiration to these kids.?

The Kalu stars won the match 1-0 courtesy of a first half goal by Chisenga Chaya.

And Kalusha Bwalya said it was time for young people to rise and take over from the old guards who had played their part.

"Our time has gone, it is time for you young people to take over from us, we have done all we could, it is now your turn," Bwalya said.

He said it was good to see the fans cheering on and hoped they could cheer the national team to victory at the African Cup of Nations.

Pele is on a three-day tour of Zambia with the Africa Cup Trophy as Stanbic Bank's ambassador for the event.

The road show has taken Pele's four-man entourage to Namibia, Uganda and Botswana and will make its next stop in Mozambique.

The tour will resume after Christmas to Angola, South Africa and Nigeria before winding up in Ghana.

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