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CAF Awards: Barbra Banda makes the cut, Copper Queens misses out 

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IN BITTERSWEET news for Zambian football, striker Barbra Banda has been named among the finalists for the prestigious CAF Women’s Player of the Year award, but the Copper Queens have missed out on the final three for the National Team of the Year accolade.

The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has released the final nominees for various categories of the 2023 Awards that have been set for the Moroccan city of Marrakech on Monday.

There is a mixture of good and bad news for Zambia in that Banda has made it on the final three for the player of the year award in the women’s category but there was no place for the Copper Queens in the national team of the year category.

The Copper Queens had been in the race to be named the national team of the year, having made the initial top five nominee list but have since failed to make the cut for the final three.

The team has fallen off alongside Senegal, leaving the stage for Morocco, Nigeria and African champions South Africa.

On the bright side of things, Banda could be named the player of the year in the women’s category but she has to fend off competition from Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala and Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 7th December, 2023)

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‘Betani reported for camp unwell,’ FAZ regrets footballer’s demise 

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FOOTBALL House has clarified that late Copper Queens striker Norin Betani reported for camp unwell before she was taken the United Teaching Hospital (UTH).

Betani was part of the provision squad called by Bruce Mwape to prepare for the Olympic Games qualifier match against Ghana that is set for Accra on Friday.

However, this morning filtered through that the goal poacher has died.

In a statement, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has stated that it is saddened by Betani’s demise.

FAZ General Secretary Reuben Kamanga said the player reported to camp whilst unwell and was taken to the hospital for thorough examination on recommendation by team medics.

“We regret to announce the death of one of our female players Norin Betani who was in the provisional squad for the Ghana match. Betani was taken to the nearest hospital to the team camp which is Kanyama Level One hospital and FAZ engaged the family at every stage.

“The patient was referred to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) on Monday and was under medical care until her demise. FAZ secretariat staff, family members and her club (Indeni Roses) worked closely during the player’s hospitalization.”

Kamanga said details of the funeral will be shared in due course.

“For now we urge everyone in the football family to mourn the deceased with dignity and respect the full privacy that medical situations sometimes demand,” he said.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 21st February, 2024)

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Copper Queens striker, Betani dies

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FOOTBALL fans and players are mourning the tragic loss of Copper Queens striker Norin Betani who has died a week after being diagnosed with malaria.

Betani who, until her death played for Women Super League side Indeni Roses was part of the Copper Queens team that was preparing for the Olympic Games qualifiers against Ghana.

Although the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) and her club are yet to issue statements, it has been revealed that the player got sick while in camp before her addmission to hospital.

“Death awe sure why so soon super champion Nomzy Betani Chafina Saana,” Zanaco women’s midfielder Mubanga Mubanga posted on her wall.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 21st February, 2024)

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Solwezi Stadium works not fully complete 

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FOLLOWING a public backlash over the poor rehabilitation works at Solwezi’s Independence Stadium, Football House has clarified that the works are not 100 percent complete.

At the weekend, Netizens had a field day mocking the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) while others were taken aback when pictures of the ‘rehabilitated’ stadium circulated online.

The rehabilitation works at the Solwezi Independence Stadium cost US$300,000.

“We wish to set the record straight over the works on the Independence Stadium in Solwezi. Just like we did for the already completed David Kaunda Stadium, we will have an official handover of the Independence stadium in Solwezi with FIFA representatives, government officials, local authorities and FAZ. The handover will be preceded by a thorough inspection to be done by all the stakeholders,” FAZ general secretary Reuben Kamanga said.

Kamanga said the contractor was still working on final touches for the overall infrastructure while the pitch installer had completed their work.

“We also wish to inform members of the public that the bulk of the US300,000 for this project was allocated to the installation of the natural pitch. The amounts allocated for the FIFA project was purely for rehabilitation and not for erecting a new stadium. We thought we should clarify on that aspect so that the publics` expectation can be managed.”

FAZ through FIFA was awarded USD1.5 million for five projects that include four provincial stadia and one accommodation center.

(Mwebantu, Monday, 19th February, 2024)

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