Women's World Cup 2023 - Zambia: Barbara Banda's revenge

Women's World Cup 2023 - Zambia: Barbara Banda's revenge

Zambia will be taking part in the Women's World Cup for the first time in their history. With the return of Barbara Banda, the Cooper Queens could make a big impression. Excluded by CAF at the last Africa Cup of Nations on medical grounds, the 23-year-old striker is the spearhead of the Zambian team.

Until the opening of the WAFCON, Barbara Banda was eligible to play in the competition. But a last-minute reversal of fortune deprived the 23-year-old striker of this tournament. She was excluded by CAF on medical grounds. "All players had to undergo gender verification, a Caf requirement, and unfortunately she did not meet the criteria set by Caf," Andrew Kamanga, President of the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), had told BBC Sport Africa. A major blow for the Zambian. "It was very difficult," the 23-year-old striker told BBC Sport Africa. Despite her absence, the Zambians went on to win the bronze medal and qualify for the 2023 Women's World Cup. Banda watched his team-mates' performance from the stands.

In the meantime, FIFA has relaxed the rules, allowing the Zambian captain to play in the World Cup. "We're looking forward to welcoming her to Australia and New Zealand next year to take part," Sarai Bareman, Fifa's Director of Women's Football, had told BBC Sport Africa.

And the player is just as excited about making her debut in the competition."Every player dreams of playing at a higher level, and the World Cup is the highest level of soccer, so I'm very happy and excited," exclaimed the 23-year-old.

A formidable striker, Barbara Banda could lead Zambia to the top. She single-handedly beat Germany, 2nd in the FIFA rankings. At the time, she scored twice. At the Tokyo Olympics, the striker scored two hat-tricks, making her Africa's all-time top scorer at the Games.And she's ready to repeat the feat in Australia. In their opening game, Zambia take on Japan in Group C this Saturday at 7am GMT.

However, the Zambian team faces a number of problems.They have suffered two major withdrawals.Former captain Grace Chanda has left the squad, while goalkeeper Hazel Nali is out through injury. Added to this are the problems of unpaid wages and sexual assaults.

SNA tells you more!

No recommendation
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram