The Zambia Women’s National Team has suffered a big blow less than 24 hours to the kick off of their World Cup campaign.
Striker Grace Chanda has been ruled out of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup following an illness.
Team Doctor, Faith Chibeza confirmed that Chanda will not be able to take part in the tournament and went on to say that the player is receiving the necessary help and attention she needs.
Elite Ladies winger Comfort Selemani who was on standby has replaced the Spain based striker in the squad.
“All of the are well except two that are unwell, the first one is the one that is in the public, Hazel Nali had an ACL injury and thankfully the Government came on board and have arranged for her surgery here in Auckland, New Zealand and she is expected to do undergo surgery next week and then go into rehabilitation,” Dr Chibeza said.
“The second one is Grace Chanda who was taken I’ll and unfortunately she is out of the tournament. We have done everything we can to help her, she is getting all the attention she needs but it’s just that she won’t be able to take part in the tournament.”
“The technical bench went ahead and did the necessary replacements in accordance with the FIFA rules, Leticia Lungu takes Hazel Nali’s place while Comfort Selemani takes up the place of Grace Chanda,” she added.
Nali had her World Cup dream shuttered by an ACL injury earlier on and has since been replaced by Leticia Lungu.
Grace Chanda was the top scorer in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers for Africa with eight goals hence this will be a big blow for the team.
Chanda Captained Zambia and helped the Copper Queens clinch bronze at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup in Morocco with three goals to her name which subsequently booked their place at the World Cup.
Zambia face Japan on Saturday in a Group C opening tie with kickoff at 09H00 CAT at the FMG Stadium.