By MICHAEL MIYOBA
PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has hailed the Chipopolopo Queens for making history by qualifying for a third consecutive Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) after beating Angola 12-0 on aggregate to qualify for the 2024 edition to be held in Morocco.
And Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Andrew Kamanga congratulated the Copper Queens and the technical bench led by coach Bruce Mwape for beating Angola home and away to secure qualification for the WAFCON.
Zambia humiliated Angola 6-0 in Luanda before matching the same win in Ndola on Tuesday night to return to the WAFCON for a third consecutive period having competed at the 2018 and 2022 championships.
President Hichilema reminded the team to set its eyes on winning the title and qualifying for a second consecutive Women’s World Cup championship.
“Qualifying to the WAFCON with a bang. Great work girls! More work starts now ahead of the tournament and set our eyes on the trophy itself and another qualification to the World Cup,” Hichilema said.
“Great to note that both the Chipolopolo boys and Copper Queens have simultaneously qualified for the continent’s biggest competitions,” he added.
Kamanga said the Copper Queens have made the nation proud for qualifying for their third consecutive WAFCON.
‘’On behalf of my executive committee and myself, I wish to congratulate the Copper Queens and the technical bench for sealing qualification to next year’s WAFCON.
The Copper Queens brand has continued to grow and established itself as a regular at international tournaments,” Kamanga said.
“It is a mark of great pride that the Zambian flag will fly at the WAFCON for the third consecutive time. It goes without saying that the graph speaks for itself having always bettered our performance progressively at every tournament.”
The FAZ president says with qualification attained, the next step will be laying the ground for quality preparations.
“Like we have done for any single team that has qualified for major tournaments, we will liaise with the technical bench over an intensive preparatory programme,” he said.
Kamanga thanked the thousands of fans that turned up at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola to spur the Copper Queens to victory on their debut at the 44, 000-capacity stadium.
Meanwhile, Zambia Sports Fans patron Peter Makembo saluted the girls for making the nation proud with an impressive display of exciting football in Ndola.
He said the Copper Queens gesture to appreciate the fans with Barbra Banda gifting one of the fans her jersey motivated the fans who were proud of the team’s achievement.
He urged the girls to stay focused and work hard to challenge for the tittle at next year’s competition after winning bronze at the 2022 edition which was also held in Morocco.