Thursday, July 25, 2024

AWCON bound Copper Queens back home

FAZ president Andrew Kamanga says he hopes that more support will be forthcoming for the Copper Queens in light of their qualification for the Morocco 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations.

And Goalkeeper Hazel Nali says the team dug within themselves to earn qualification despite missing some of the key members due to injury and club commitments.

Meanwhile Top Star Zambia hosted a luncheon for the Copper Queens at Hilton Hotel as token of appreciation for their qualification to the AWCON.

During the arrival of the Zambia Senior Women National Team from South Africa where they qualified to the AWCON after drawing 1-1 against Namibia, Kamanga said he was elated to learn of the pronouncements that government will help the team prepare for the tournament.

He said that bankrolling the Copper Queens campaigns wholly had been a huge challenge to FAZ.

“It is never easy to prepare a team in the sense that the team which qualified to the Olympics we had to spend in excess of six million kwacha. We camped the team for almost six months, we had to pay for the team’s qualification and travel as well as qualifying bonus,” he said.

“This time around we have spent close to four million but again, this in our view is a commitment where we think that it is about time that sponsors came in and supported our team because they always done the best.”

Kamanga said he was happy that women team had repaid the support by regularly qualifying to major tournaments.

“Our investment has paid off and we have no doubt that going forward we will continue building on the path that we have been. We have invested heavily in the under-17 who obviously came out tops in the Region V games, the under-20 has also done well even the senior team,” he said.

“All these have been elements of investment which have been slowly paying off. We want to thank the team for remaining steadfast and continuing to deliver where they were least expected.”

Kamanga urged more stakeholders to support the women’s game that was rapidly improving.

“All this is funded by FAZ and yesterday (Tuesday) we heard that there was a statement from government that they will come in and support the team as they have qualified,” he said.
“Our cry has always been that in with the men’s team, government support should come at an earlier stage before the qualifiers because we do not have to wait until we get to the end of the line to get that level of support.”

And Nali said the team was excited to qualify against a very spirited Namibia side.

“It was not easy. But we went in with the ‘Bola Na Lesa’ slogan that is our weapon. With God you can do anything. It was not easy but with the available players we were able to deliver,” she said.

Top Star representative Joy Chula said her institution was proud of the Copper Queen’s qualification.

“We are very proud of your achievements; we are also very happy to be associated with the Copper Queens,” she said.

“We have seen the journey that you have taken for us it is a plus. It will not end here we are talks with FAZ that will be very good to seal a very good deal for our Zambian viewers and subscribers to ensure that we continue to support the development of women football.”

The Copper Queens qualified to the AWCON and will be among the 12 top teams in Africa to feature at the continental showpiece that will run from July 2-22 in Morocco.

Top four teams will qualify to the Australia/New Zealand 2023 FIFA World Cup.

There will be two more slots for the fifth and sixth teams at the AWCON to have play-offs with teams from other continents.

(FAZ Media )

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