LIBREVILLE, Gabon — Zambian football has only horrific memories of Libreville, the city where it lost a generation of top players when their plane plunged into the ocean killing everyone on board.

In that 1993 crash, Zambia lost probably its best-ever team in its worst sporting disaster, as 18 players and seven officials died when their military aircraft went down soon after taking off from Libreville.

Nearly 20 years later, the country's 2012 squad is hoping to honor the memory of that team by returning to Libreville on Feb. 12 to play in the African Cup of Nations final, and turn the city into a place of joy.