Women’s 2023 World Cup: Zambia’s Banda eligible to play after Wafcon exclusion – Fifa’s Bareman

Comments (0)
Barbra Banda of Zambia.
Fifa's chief women's football officer Sarai Bareman has disclosed Zambia’s Barbara Banda is eligible to play in the 2023 World Cup finals.
  • Banda sat out 2022 Wafcon finals
  • Set to take part in World Cup
  • Return is a big boost for Copper Queens

WHAT HAPPENED? The 22-year-old Shepolopolo goal machine did not take part in the 2022 Women's Africa Cup of Nations when she was excluded following an eligibility test before the finals that were held in Morocco.

Bareman added that Fifa is revisiting the eligibility regulations that saw Zambia take part in the continental tournament without their key star.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "We are looking forward to welcoming her [Banda] to Australia and New Zealand next year to participate," Bareman said.

Article continues below

"Fifa is currently reviewing our gender eligibility regulations - we're in a consultation process right now.

"My team is obviously a big part of that consultation process, and in the coming months, you'll see a new set of regulations come out of Fifa as many sports are also looking at their own regulations."

"It's a very complex topic, and there are many, many people who have their views on it.

"As Fifa, our role is to take all those views into consideration, because we really have to understand every view - the research, the evidence, the individual situations, the human rights side of things - and we have to factor all of that in before we can take any decisions.

"It's a big decision, and it's going to have a big impact on many people."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Fifa expanded the Women's World Cup from 24 to 32 teams, and Africa will be represented by South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, and Zambia, who will be making their debut appearances in the June-August competition.

Senegal and Cameroon stand a chance of grabbing a ticket to the Mundial, as they are set to compete in an intercontinental play-off to determine the last three teams to reach the finals.

WHAT NEXT FOR BANDA? The striker, who shone at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo when she became the first female player to score consecutive hat-tricks in the games' history, will be a big boost for Zambia’s campaign in the finals.