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Women in Sports offer Barbra Banda solidarity

By MICHAEL MIYOBA
THE National Organisation for Women in Sport Physical Activity and Recreation, NOWSPAR says the rules around medical based gender criteria for qualification to participate in sports events make athletes like Barbra Banda vulnerable and puts their rights and wellbeing at risk.
NOWSPAR Executive Director Lombe Mwambwa said athlete well-being must remain a priority for stakeholders responsible for athletes.
Mwambwa noted that NOWSPAR wished Banda good health and safety after the controversial ban from competing at the Womens Africa Cup in Morocco placed her in the center of a network of actions and ongoing controversies related to policies and rules that make athletes vulnerable.
She noted the need for sports governing bodies to be transparent caring when establishing rules that may affect athletes in various sports.
“Several sports bodies including governing football, athletics, and most recently swimming, are adopting norms and rules that create a culture of legal, administrative, and medical processes that are harmful to athletes.
“As sports organisations, we must undertake clarity on the systems, the decision makers, rules and culture that enable the situation such as we are seeing with Barbara Banda,” Mwambwa said.
She noted the need for sports governing bodies and rights organisations to cooperate and work towards structures, policies, and actions that outlines the entities, mandate and competence that are responsible for athlete related decisions.
Mwambwa also noted the need for long term collaborative action to advocate for changes of hostile and harmful rules and practices in the international sports system.
She said sports governing bodies and rights organisations must protect and advice athletes who are subject to rules that make athletes vulnerable and establish clear channels of redress.
Mwambwa said NOWSPAR, a Zambian organisation that advances the rights of girls and women through sport is available to work with stakeholders on matter that challenges the progress for rights of women to engage at all levels of sports.
Meanwhile, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) insists Banda failed to make the final list of players to represent the country at the WAFCON after failing to meet certain medical regulations required by CAF.
FAZ Communications Manager Sydney Mungala told the national broadcaster that CAF shared tournament medical regulations that all participating teams had to adhere to before the start of the tournament in Morocco.
Mungala’s response was made after CAF President Patrice Motsepe expressed ignorance over why the Copper Queens captain was banned from taking part in the WAFCON.

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