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The Federation of Zambia Football Association has expressed satisfaction with Copper Queens’ performance at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations despite enduring off-field distractions around ineligible players.

The Copper Queens suffered a huge blow even before the tournament kicked off in Morocco when their captain and striker Barbra Banda was disqualified from the entire tournament on what Caf described as medical grounds, and lost Ochumba Oseke and Siomala Mapepa due to suspension.

FAZ president Andrew Kamanga has praised the Coppers Queens for their resolve to reach the quarter-finals despite the troubles. Zambia sealed their spot in the last eight after finishing top of Group B with seven points while Cameroon came second on five.

Kamanga said as quoted by FAZ social media:

Football felicitations to the followers of the beautiful game. No doubt the last few days have presented a very beautiful side to our game as the Copper Queens have been writing a magnificent chapter in their football lives.

The ladies achieved a historic quarter-final feat for the first time in the nation’s participation at the Africa Cup of Nations. It has not been easy given the off-field distractions that Zambia has endured around ineligible players.

However, it will be a gross injustice at this hour not to celebrate the players that have stepped to the plate and capably represented our motherland. All this is the testimony of what great strides our women’s game have made in the last few years.

The women’s game has been elevated to a level where the girls have been able to be accommodated in conditions at par with the men and receive remuneration for their participation in football.

We now have a fully-fledged league that despite being in its infancy and experiencing teething problems gives us the impetus to believe that we have somewhere to start from.

The search for a sponsor is on and we have no doubt that with the women’s game making a continental statement at the WAFCON, it will open more doors for our game.

It is these small yet significant steps that has helped spark the women’s football revolution in our country. Additionally, the integrity of delivering on promises made to the team has also been critical in spurring the ladies into this tournament.

The Copper Queens kicked off their campaign in Morocco with a 0-0 draw against the Indomitable Lionesses before defeating Zambia 1-0 and then wrapping up their group matches with a 4-1 thrashing of Togo.

They will face Senegal in the quarter-finals at Stade Mohammed V on Wednesday.


By Amara

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