The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) says some players left out of the final 23-member Shepolopolo Zambia squad for next month’s 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Morocco do not meet tournament regulations.
There is public outcry on the dropping of Spain based star striker Rachael Kundananji from the squad coach Bruce Mwape named on Saturday.
SD Eibar forward Kundananji was initially named in the 31-member provisional squad released last month.
Striker Rachael Nachula and Hellen Mubanga are the other notable absentees from Mwape’s final Africa Cup squad.
FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala said besides failing to meet competition rules other players left out are ill or their form is questionable.
“We wish to take note of the flurry of comments that have flooded our office in the aftermath of the unveiling of the final squad heading to Morocco next week for an international camp preceding the AWCON tournament,” said Kashala.
“Some players will not make the squad based on various reasons among them illness, form and some aspects of tournament regulations that do not make it open-ended for participation and some of the reasons are a preserve of the tournament organizers. We are also conscious of the fact that we are not at liberty to debate certain procedural aspects involving private individuals or players,” he said.
Kashala said CAF/FIFA prescribes wide ranging procedures that players have to undergo prior to any tournament that FAZ wants to fully abide by.
He urged fans to support the team ahead of the Africa Cup.
“We also wish to inform the public that the Copper Queens are expected to play an international friendly with Morocco as part of preparations for the AWCON that will be staged in that country,” he said.
“We urge the public to give the team maximum support as they represent our motherland in Morocco which is also an opportunity to fight for World Cup qualification.”
Zambia will face Cameroon, Tunisia and Togo in Group B at the tournament beginning on July 2-23.
According to FAZ, the team is expected to leave for Morocco next week for an international camp where a number of friendlies have been lined-up.
Hazel Nali (Fatih Vatan Spor-Turkey), Leticia Lungu (Zesco Ndola Girls), Catherine Musonda (Indeni Roses)
Esther Banda (BUSA), Esther Siamfuko (Queens Academy), Margaret Belemu (Shanghai Shengli-China), Martha Tembo, Lushomo Mweemba, Agness Musesa, Anita Mulenga (all Green Buffaloes), Judith Soko (YASA Girls)
Misozi Zulu (Hakkariguku Spor FC -Turkey), Ireen Lungu (Green Buffaloes), Mary Wilombe (Red Arrows), Evarine Susan Katongo (ZISD Women), Avell Chitundu (Zesco Ndola Girls), Maweta Chilenga (BUSA)
Barbara Banda (Shanghai Shengli), Xiomara Mapepa (Lusaka Dynamos Ladies), Grace Chanda (BIIK Kazygurt-Kazakhstan), Ochumba Oseke Lubanji (Red Arrows), Noria Sosala (Indeni Roses), Natasha Nanyangwe (Green Buffaloes)