Brave Gladiators to fancy chances
The Brave Gladiators could not ask for a better seeding after being drawn against Nigeria, Zambia and Ivory Coast in Group A of the forthcoming, Confederations of African Football (CAF) African Women Championships.
This was announced at the draw conducted on Saturday night at the Windhoek Country Club that was attended by delegates of all eight countries that will be in action at the championships from 11 to 25 October this year in Windhoek.
Prime Minister, Dr Hage Geingob was one of the dignitaries in attendance that also included the deputy secretary-general of the CAF, Essam Ahmed, the vice-president of CAF Molefi Oliphant and the Namibia Football Association (NFA) president John Muinjo.
The Ivorians will not be pushovers in the group as they have reached the competition at the expense of current holders Equatorial Guinea who lost to Ivory Coast on two legs in the qualifiers.
Ivorian coach Clementine Toure told Caf Online that her side will be in Windhoek to win the trophy.
“ Every team is here to win the trophy but our approach will be one game at a time,” said Toure.
Another side in group A that will cause some problems for Brave Gladiators are neighbours Zambia.
The Zambian side will be motivated by their junior counterparts’ historic qualification for the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.
Namibia’s head coach, Jacky Shipanga is using her youthful looking side as a scapegoat a head of the championships.
“Namibia has a one of the youngest team but the girls are extremely determined and confident to do well,” said Shipanga.
Group B consists of South Africa, Cameroon, Algeria and Ghana respectively.
Banyana Banyana team manager, Levy Ramajoe also told Caf Online that he is convinced that his side will win the trophy after finishing runners-up to Equatorial Guinea in the 2012 edition.
“ The dream of our players and officials is to qualify for the World Cup and we are convinced the hour is here,” said Ramajoe.
The top two teams from each group proceeds to the semi-finals of the competition.
This is the first time that the competition is being hosted outside Nigeria and South Africa and it is hosted every two years.
Nigeria and South Africa have both hosted it on three occasions with Equatorial Guinea having hosted the event in 2008.
Nigeria have won the championships a record eight times more than any side and no Southern African nation has won the showpiece.
The CAF Women Championships is sponsored by TN Mobile.
The top three sides will automatic qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup to be hosted in Canada.