Ntopwa Queens’ Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women’s Champions League Cosafa Qualifiers preparations have suffered a setback after Silver Strikers Women’s Football Team and Ascent Soccer Academy refused to loan them players to beef up the squad.
Silver have refused to loan Ntopwa Queens defender Ireen Khumalo and midfielder Madyina Ngulube while Ascent Soccer Academy have clung to their defender Faith Chimzimu and attacker Rose Kabzere for the tournament to be held in Durban, South Africa from August 30 to September 8.
However, Ntopwa Queens have been successful in securing the services of FCB Nyasa Bullets Women striker Vanessa Chikupira and Civil Service Women’s forward Linda Kasenda.
The national women’s football champions’ owner and technical director Isaac Jomo Osman yesterday said he was optimistic of a successful campaign despite failing to get on loan four of the six targeted players.
Osman: It is a big
He said: “It is really a big set- back to fail in our bid to get on board all our six targets, but we will make do with the available squad and we are still confident of doing well.”
One of Silver Strikers directors Willard Chakanika said they felt it was not on to let their players go on loan to Ntopwa Queens instead of fighting their own battles to qualify for next year’s continental showpiece.
Ascent director Thom Mkolongo also said they believe their team will be heavily affected if they let their players go as they also have a big task to fight for honour’s in the FAM National Womens’ Championship, which is underway.
He added that Kabzere is also geared to undergo trials overseas soon.
“We cannot afford to release some of our most reliable players when, already, our team is struggling in the national championship, where we have won once and lost once,” he said.
Ntopwa, who are the country’s first women’s football outfit to take part in the continental championship, are expected to leave for South Africa on August 27.
They will play three Group A qualifying games against reigning champions Green Buffaloes of Zambia, Double Action Ladies of Botswana and Lesotho Defence Force.
The qualifiers will see top-two teams from the Cosafa’s two groups progressing to the finals in Ivory Coast alongside outfits from the five other blocs.
Meanwhile, Ntopwa has tomorrow organised a fundraising dinner at Golden Peacock Hotel in Blantyre as part of raising funds to help close the K25 million deficit on their K55 million budget.
Gospel artists The Great Angels Choir and Ethel Kamwendo-Banda are some of the groups that will spice up the fundraising dinner.