LUSAKA, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Zambian players have been promised hefty allowances if they manage to defend the Africa Cup of Nations title they won last year, the Zambia Daily Mail reported on Monday.
The Chipolopolo Bullets (Copper Bullets) will each received 90,000 U.S. dollars if they retain the cup in South Africa where the tournament kicked off on Saturday.
Minister of Sports Chishimba Kambwili told the players in South Africa that each player will receive 20,000 dollars to get to the final.
The team will start the campaign with a game against Ethiopia in Group C on Monday. Other teams in the group include Nigeria and Burkina Faso.
The players received 59,000 dollars each for winning the 2012 Africa Cup after they beat the much-fancied Ivorians 8-7 on penalty shootout.
On Sunday, Zambian President Michael Sata told the team to "once again" conquer Africa.
When he visited the team in Nelspruit, South Africa, the Zambian leader, who was part of the official opening ceremony on Saturday, expressed confidence that the team will retain the title.
Head coach Herve Renard has since urged his players not to underrate any team in the group stage.