A total of 26 African teams will compete in the International Soccer Federation (FIFA) 2015 Women’s World Cup qualifiers from February to October 2014, starting with an initial round of 11 home-and-away series from February 13 to March 2.
In the first round, Ghana meets Burkina Faso, Algeria plays Morocco, Ethiopia meets South Sudan, Ivory Coast collides with Mali, Rwanda tackles Kenya, Nigeria opposes Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau takes on Senegal, Mozambique takes on Comoros, Botswana and Zimbabwe will do battle and Zambia’s opponent is Tanzania.
The winners and the top three teams from 2012 – Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and Cameroon — which drew first round byes, will take part in the second round of seven home-and-away series from May 23 to June 8.
The seven winners will then join host country Namibia for the African championships from October 11-25. The top three teams in that tournament will represent Africa at the 2015 World Cup in Canada.
Zambia, meanwhile, will host the 2017 Africa youth soccer championship finals.
This is the first time that a Confederation of African Soccer continental championship will be staged in that country.
“I am really delighted for our soccer,” said the country’s soccer association president, Kalusha Bwayla. “I am sure our people will delight in this news and the time to prepare starts now.”
The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winner, Zambia, has to abort their only previous attempt at staging a continental competition. In 1988, Zambia backed out of hosting the Africa Cup of Nations because of a lack of funds and Morocco stepped in as a replacement.
Zambia is also bidding to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Morocco will host next year’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament from January 17 to February 7.
In other news, Danny Jordaan is the new South African Soccer Association president. The former African National Congress Member of Parliament played a key role in the successful hosting of the 2010 World Cup. That was the first time the global tournament was held in Africa.
Jordaan, who was recently named an advisor to Confederation of African Soccer president Issa Hayatou following several unsuccessful bids for a seat on the African governing body executive committee, defeated his challenger Mandla Mazibuko by 162 to 88 votes. He replaces Kirsten Nematandani who was not nominated by any of the 52 South African soccer federation regions.
And, former Arsenal defender Sol Campbell believes there is prejudice against Black coaches in England and expects to have to go overseas to fulfill his managerial ambitions.
Campbell, who won 73 caps for England, retired in May 2012 and is completing qualifications to start coaching.
There are just four Black managers employed by England’s 92 professional clubs.
‘I want to start abroad,” he said. “There are no opportunities for me here, not until attitudes change anyway…I have spoken to other Black players who want to coach and they feel the same which is that attitudes here are archaic. I hope and pray that the environment changes.”