Zambia coach Herve Renard says his side need to show "discipline" if they want to win the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time.
Renard was speaking after the expulsion of midfielder Clifford Mulenga from the squad after he and a number of others broke curfew.
Zambia say the other players involved apologised, but Mulenga did not.
"In football, you have to be disciplined on the pitch and disciplined outside it," Renard said.
"Our focus is to win the Africa Cup of Nations, it is not a holiday."
The Chipolopolo face Sudan in their quarter-final tie in Bata on Saturday.
If they win, it will be the first time they have gone through to the semi-finals for 16 years.
Renard has been cautious about directly addressing in public his decision to expel Mulenga and reprieve the others, but he made some pointed comments about how his squad should behave if they want to succeed in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
The French coach praised captain Chris Katongo, but said other players also had to show leadership.
"We need a leader in the team," the coach said after training on Wednesday.
"Sometimes I would like the players to police themselves, like the role [Carles] Puyol does for Barcelona, because then, when there is a big or a small problem, someone can resolve it before the coach [gets involved]."
Mulenga was sanctioned after a group of players stayed out late celebrating their 1-0 win over Equatorial Guinea - a result which saw them through as Group A winners.
The midfielder had made only one brief appearance at the finals, coming on as a late substitute in the final group match against the co-hosts.