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13/12/2012 - 10:47 BST

Lionel Messi Goals Record Should Be Held By Godfrey Chitalu Claim Zambia Authorities

Thursday, 13th December, 2012

The Football Fans Association of Zambia (AAFZ) have called for the record for the number of goals scored in a calendar year to be taken off Lionel Messi and handed to Godfrey Chitalu.

The AAFZ have claimed that the Zambian striker found the back of the net 107 times in 1972 and, as a result, should be proclaimed as the record holder and not Barcelona forward Messi, who recently broke Gerd Muller’s total of 85 goals – he is currently on 88.

"We request that Chitalu has the recognition he deserves, so we have prepared a request to present to the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) in which we ask them to write to FIFA so they can correct their records", AAFZ spokesman Elisha Banda told Spanish daily Marca.

"Just because Chitalu comes from an unknown African country it does not mean that his achievements have to be ignored in favour of renowned players from around the world", he added.

The FAZ have promised to conduct an investigation into the goals with the aim of demonstrating to FIFA that Chitalu should hold the record and have assembled a team to go through the records of the individual games.

Chitalu is considered to be a national icon in Zambia for his exploits with the country’s national team, nicknamed the "Copper Bullets".

The striker lost his life in the tragedy of 1993, when 18 Zambian players died in a plane crash en route to face Senegal in a World Cup qualifier.

Chitalu, who ended his playing career in 1982, had been serving as Zambia coach when the plane crashed after refuelling in Gabon.

In 2006 he was selected by the Confederation of African Football as one of the top 200 African footballers of the last 50 years.

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