VIEWERS on DStv and GOtv can look forward to seeing one of Africa’s top footballers, Zambian Barbra Banda, in action for the Copper Queens as they continue their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign.
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Zambian’s captain and talismanic forward, Banda has been on the books of Chinese club Shanghai Shengli since 2020, and has also represented Spain’s EDF Longrono. The 23-year-old is set to play in her first senior FIFA Women’s World Cup, having previously represented her country in the U-17 World Cup, as well as the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations and the 2020 Olympic Games.
In fact the Olympics represented a major breakthrough tournament for Banda, who scored back-to-back hat-tricks against the Netherlands and China and ended as the second leading goal scorer in the competition.
“My career started when I was at a tender age, but the focus and encouragement from my parents [has been great], as they supported me very well with my career and taught me discipline,” Banda explained. “My father used to play at amateur level in Zambia, so he gave me the passion for the game.”
Banda started out hoping to be a boxer and won all five of her professional bouts as a teenager before switching to football in 2017.
“I got into boxing when I was around 14 or 15 years. My coach encouraged me saying I can do well in boxing. A lot of people too thought I was good in boxing,” she added. “I never lost any bout, I won all the fights. Then I decided to concentrate on one thing, and I settled for football,” she said.
The Lusaka-born star takes her inspiration from a modern football great: Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I like the way Cristiano Ronaldo plays. I like his discipline,” Banda noted. “I have the same strength. I run a lot and do the dribbles. I can do something where you did not expect anything, and you just be like… ‘Okay, Banda just did that!’”
Banda is set to be a key player for Zambia when they continue their Group C campaign with a clash against Spain at Eden Park in Auckland on the morning of Wednesday 26 July – a match you can see LIVE on SuperSport Football, SuperSport Variety 4, SuperSport Maximo 1, SuperSport Maximo 3 and SuperSport GOtv Select 1.
‘I did not expect him to play well’ Leicester City coach on Patson Daka
LEICESTER City coach Enzo Maresca has said he did not expect striker Patson Daka to play well on Saturday having not seen much game time this season.
Yesterday, Daka served his manager a humble pie, scoring a goal and providing an assist in the 4-0 win over Plymouth.
In a post match Interview, Maresca revealed that, “I told Pat before the game: ‘It doesn’t matter if you play well or bad. I don’t expect you to play well. I can understand to be out for three or four months. So play free, relax, enjoy, and then we’ll see,” Maresca said.
Maresca said he is sorry that the player has not seen much action.
“I always said to him [Daka] that in these three or four months: ‘Pat, I’m very sorry for the situation.’ But it is what it is.”
Despite Daka’s impact, Maresca couldn’t give a concrete comment of the player’s future at the club.
“For me the future is Wednesday,” Maresca added. “I swear, serious. Pat is one of our players. We are happy. If he is not happy and he wants to leave, we’ll see. Now it’s about Wednesday.”
(Mwebantu, Sunday, 10th December, 2023)
CAF Awards: Barbra Banda makes the cut, Copper Queens misses out
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)
Zambia are Netball Champions
ZAMBIA have lifted the Africa Netball Cup in Botswana after defeating Namibia 57-55 in a tightly contested final.
The team has been impressive over the course of the tournament but appeared to meet their match in the final.
Zambia took a first quarter lead, but by the time the game was reaching half time the teams were tied at 23-23.
Namibia then controlled the game in the third quarter and managed to record a 35-33 lead.
Zambia did not give up, stretching the game into extra time when they tied 43-43 at full time.
In the end, the team managed the game and ran home 57-55 winners to be crowned champions.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 6th December, 2023)