CAF Women’s Champs Namibia in Group of Death

Hosts Namibia will face West African powerhouse Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Zambia in Group-A in the upcoming Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women’s Championship slated for Windhoek in October this year.

Group B consists of South Africa, Algeria, Ghana and Cameroon.

The draw for the 9th edition of the biannual continental showpiece was conducted in Windhoek on Saturday evening.

Reigning African champions Equatorial Guinea will not be able to defend their crown after they were knocked out of this year’s edition by Ivory Coast during the qualifiers.

Hosts Namibia will be making her debut by virtue of being the host nation while fellow southerners Zambia also make their maiden appearance in the competition. Nigeria has won the championship a record six times.

Addressing the local media after the draw, Brave Gladiators coach Jacqui Shipanga said hard work for her team “begins now”.

“I think we have one of the youngest teams at the tournament, but the girls are determined to prove a point as the host nation. All we need to do is prepare adequately and I would like to urge all stakeholders to put their shoulder to the wheel and give the girls good preparation.”

Cameroonian coach Enow Ngechu admitted his team is in the most difficult group, but believed they are ready to compete and hopefully qualify for the Women’s World Cup in Canada next year.

The top three teams from the eight-nation tourney qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“We have South Africa who played at the Olympic Games in London two years ago, Ghana and Algeria, who qualified for all the previous women’s championships in our group. At this level, all you need to do is maximize your chances during the preparation games,” he said.

Ngechu added that he was fully aware of the hot weather in Namibia during October, but was quick to announce that his team planned to arrive two or three weeks earlier for his players to acclimatize to the not-so-friendly Namibian weather at that time of the year.

South African team manager, Levy Ramajoe, expressed happiness to know their opponents, “because every team that qualified to compete at the continental championship deserves to be there and should not be underestimated”.

Source : New Era