Namibia in tough CAF women’s football draw

WINDHOEK; Namibia will face Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Zambia in Group A of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women’s Championship set to take place here in October this year.

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

The draw for the ninth edition of the competition, scheduled for 11 to 25 October, was done here on Saturday evening.

It is a biennial competition.

The 2012 champions, Equatorial Guinea were knocked out of this year’s edition by Ivory Coast during the qualifying stages.

Namibia will be participating at the continental championship for the first time by virtue of being the host nation.

Zambia will also make its debut in the competition, which was won by Nigeria six times.

Speaking to the media after the draw Brave Gladiator coach, Jacqueline 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, because they are the host nation. All we need to do is prepare adequately, and all the stakeholders need to come together to give the girls a good preparation,” she urged.

Cameroon coach, Enow Ngechu said they are in the most difficult group, but they are ready to compete and hopefully qualify for the Women’s World Cup to be hosted next year in Canada.

The top three teams will 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 have qualified to all the previous women’s championships in our group. At this level all you need to do is to maximize your chances during the preparation games,” he said.

Ngechu added that he is aware of the hot weather here in October, and they plan to arrive two or three weeks earlier for his players to adapt to the Namibian weather.

South African team manager, Levy Ramajoe said they are happy to know their opponents, because every team that qualified to play at the championship deserve to be there, and should not be underestimated.

“South Africa will come to Namibia to fight for the trophy as well,” he said.