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COSAFA Women's Cup

Cosafa Championship 2022: Banda back in Zambia squad after Wafcon exclusion

20:56 GMT+3 26/08/2022
Barbra Banda Zambia Women 2021
The Shanghai Shengli striker could not lead her side in Morocco as she was denied participation over medical reasons

Experienced Zambian captain Barbra Banda has been named in the Shepolopolo squad for the 2022 Cosafa Women’s Championship.

Banda will participate in the regional competition after she was denied participation in the 2022 Women's Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco. She was ruled out for medical reasons on the eve of the tournament.

However, head coach Mwape has named her in the final squad that will take part in the Cosafa tournament in August and September 2022 in South Africa.

Goalkeeper Hazel Nali and striker Grace Chanda, who led Shepolopolo at Wafcon in Banda's absence, will not be available for Mwape as they have club engagements in Turkey and Kazakhstan, respectively.

Zambia are set to begin their Cosafa campaign against Namibia on September 1 before a match against Lesotho three days later. Their final Group B match will be against Eswatini on September 6.

Since the tournament has three groups, only the top team in each group and the best-placed runner-up will qualify for the semifinals.

After beating Nigeria in the bronze medal match at Wafcon, Zambia are among the pre-tournament favourites to win the championship.

South Africa, the continent’s reigning champions, are also viewed as outright favourites for the competition that will be held in Gqeberha.

Full Zambia Squad:

Goalkeepers: Eunice Sakala (Nkwazi Queens), Agness Banda (National Assembly), Catherine Musonda (Indeni Roses)

Defenders: Vast Phiri (ZESCO Ndola Girls), Esther Banda (BUSA), Esther Siamfuko (Queens Academy), Agness Musesa, Lushomo Mweemba, Martha Tembo (all Green Buffaloes), Judith Soko (YASA), Margaret Belemu (Shanghai Shengli-China)

Midfielders: Ireen Lungu (Green Buffaloes), Mary Wilombe (Red Arrows), Evarine Susan Katongo (ZISD Women), Natasha Witika (Bayelsa Queens-Nigeria), Avell Chitundu (ZESCO Ndola Girls), Maweta Chilenga (BUSA), Misozi Zulu (Hakkariguku Spor FC -Turkey)

Strikers: Barbara Banda (Shanghai Shengli - China), Natasha Nanyangwe (Green Buffaloes), Ochumba Oseke Lubanji (Red Arrows), Eneless Phiri (Police Doves), Xiomara Mapepa (Lusaka Dynamos Women FC)

Cosafa Groups

Group A: South Africa, Angola, Mauritius, Mozambique

Group B: Zambia, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini

Group C: Botswana, Malawi, Tanzania, Comoros