STILL ON COURSE - FAZ
Zambia senior women soccer team’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympics remain on course despite their planned participation in a Turkish Invitational Tournament having been cancelled due to Coronavirus, Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has assured.
Speaking in a phone interview on Tuesday, FAZ Communications Manager Sydney Mungala said that despite the cancellation of the trip, the team would remain in local camp for now as they continue preparations for their debut at the multi-sport event in July.
“The team will remain in camp, and will continue preparing locally,” he said whilst going on to reveal that there were other friendlies being organised for the team, “This was the first assignment lined up but obviously there will be others as we await confirmations.”
Coach Bruce Mwape had summoned 32 players including foreign based players to camp for the tournament.
In a bid to intensify preparations for the Olympic Games which are now only five months away, FAZ had lined up participation in an eight team friendly tournament in Turkey.
But in a statement availed on Tuesday afternoon, the local football governing body revealed that the trip had been cancelled because of COVID-19.
“Members of the Zambia Senior Women National Team underwent some Covid-19 tests with the results putting the trip into jeopardy,” read the statement.
FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala who was quoted in the statement also revealed that the Copper Queens were withdrawn from the competition on health grounds.
“We have decided to withdraw participation from the Turkey Eight Nation Invitational Tournament after having had encountered some medical challenges in our preparation for the tournament,” he says.
“It is not an easy decision to make but we always have to prioritize the health of the players and technical staff at all times.”
The Copper Queens are among ten teams who have so far already qualified in women’s football with others being United States of America (USA), Brazil, England and the Netherlands.
12 countries in total will participate.
The winners between Chile and Cameroon as well as China and South Korea will make up the full list which will also include Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden and Australia.