By MOSES CHIMFWEMBE –
THE Zambia women handball team has qualified for the 2015 All Africa Games (AAG) billed for September 4 to 19, in Brazzaville, Congo.
Handball becomes the first team sport in Zambia to clinch qualification at the forthcoming 11th edition of the Africa Games.
This leaves the men’s team with a battle against Angola for a spot in a ‘winner takes it all’ encounter to be played in Luanda on a date to be announced.
The Confederation of African Handball (CAHB) yesterday awarded Zambia an automatic qualification for the Games because of the early submission of team list by the Handball Association of Zambia (HAZ).
Teams vying for the CAHB sanctioned tournaments are required to submit team lists to the African handball body’s secretariat in Abidjan, Ivory Coast prior to the competition, but as of first week of February which was the deadline, only Zambia and Angola had availed their teams.
CAHB has since confirmed Zambia and Angola female teams as representatives for the Southern African region in the women category at the AAG.
The decision was made yesterday during CAHB executive committee meeting in Abidjan.
Meanwhile, CAHB has cancelled the AAG qualifiers for the Southern African countries that were scheduled to take place in Lusaka.
The cancellation of the qualifiers is as a result of the failure by participating countries to pay participating fees to the Africa federation.
HAZ communications manager Josab Changa confirmed yesterday that the association had received communication from CAHB on the changes.
Changa expressed happiness of the women team’s qualification saying the association will now draw up a program for the team’s preparations.
“It’s a good development for us to see our women team to qualify although we needed to play qualifiers to us to gauge the team’s progress. We are also looking forward to our men team to qualify.
We would like to appeal to the corporate world to assist us with air tickets so that we can send the team for the Portugal championship which we want to use as part of preparations. We need to intensify our preparations,” Changa said.