AFTER exiting the ongoing FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup with a stunning 2-1 victory over hosts Costa Rica here, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has now set its sight on qualifying the team to the next edition set for Jordan in 2016.
FAZ vice-president, Boniface Mwamelo said Zambia’s participation in the FIFA 2014 Under-17 Women’s World Cup had provided a lot of positives for the development of the local game for the women.
In an interview before the Zambian delegation left San Jose for Lusaka on Sunday morning, Mwamelo said the only way to sustain the success recorded here was to qualify the team again to the FIFA 2016 Under-17 Women’s World Cup finals in Jordan.
He said failure to qualify to the next World Cup finals could be retrogressive to the growth of women football in the nation.
Mwamelo said there was need to come up with a deliberate continuous programme of producing quality talent for women football development.
He said with the under-17 squad tasting World Cup football, there was need for the senior Shepolopolo team to emulate that feat by reaching the FIFA 2015 global showpiece in Canada.
The FAZ vice-president said to realise the Canada 2015 World Cup dream, the Shepolopolo needed first to qualify to the 2014 African Women Championship (AWC) in Namibia.
Zambia, who knocked out Tanzania in the previous stage, will battle with Zimbabwe in the AWC final qualifying round.
Zimbabwe, who eliminated Botswana, will first host the Zambians on the weekend of May 23-25 in Harare before the decider in Lusaka on the weekend of June 6-8. Namibia will host the AWC finals in October.
And Costa Rica Under-17 women coach, Juan Diego Quesada has bemoaned his charges’ poor showing at the ongoing World Cup finals here.
Quesada, who suffered abuse at the hands of the local fans here after losing the final Group A match to Zambia on Saturday night, said the Costa Rican lasses worked hard but that luck was not just on their side.
He, however, said the 2014 World Cup had been a great experience for the Central American nation and the budding players.
Quesada said the women team had gained a lot of experience from the tournament and predicted a bright future for Costa Rica.
He said some of the Under-17 players would be selected for the forthcoming FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup finals in Canada.
Costa Rica finished tail-enders in Group A behind eventual pool winners, Venezuela, Italy and Zambia. The team was expected back last night.
Times of Zambia