• Saturday, May 18, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

2024 Olympics: Super Falcons, Copper Queens to represent Africa in Paris

Paris-2024-Olympics

Nigeria’s Super Falcons and the Copper Queens of Zambia will represent Africa in the women’s football tournament at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The 2024 Olympics women’s football tournament will be held in Paris from July 25 to August 10 and twelve footballing nations will battle it out in a bid to win an Olympic medal.

Nigeria and Zambia obtained the final two spots to Paris in the deciding matches on 9 April 9 at the 2024 CAF Women’s Olympic qualifying tournament.

Zambia needed extra time to eliminate Morocco, turning around a 2-1 first leg loss with a 2-0 in Rabat. Nigeria drew 0-0 with South Africa, after a 1-0 win last week.

The journey to qualification was intense, with the top four teams in the qualifying campaign also representing Africa at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand last year, and competing in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco less than 18 months ago.

Will the experiences gained from those campaigns, coupled with the lessons learned from the demoralizing loss in the 2022 WAFCON semifinals, prove beneficial for Nigeria and Zambia as they seek to make their mark in Olympic competition?

Nigeria and Zambia completed the line-up for the Olympic women’s tournament with playoff victories over South Africa and Morocco, respectively.

In Pretoria, the Super Falcons managed to hold off Banyana Banyana in a goalless draw, securing their place in the main draw following a 1-0 win in the first leg.

Nigeria showcased their prowess as Africa’s top team at the recent Women’s World Cup, reaching the round of 16 where they pushed eventual finalists England to penalties. In Group C in Paris, they face tough opponents like world champions Spain, 2011 champions Japan, and Brazil, with their first match against the South Americans scheduled for July 25.

Meanwhile, Zambia secured back-to-back Olympic appearances after defeating Morocco over two legs. They needed extra time to secure their ticket, setting up first-round matches against formidable opponents like the United States, Germany, and Australia in Group B. Star striker Barbara Banda’s brace in the 2-0 away win propelled them to a 3-2 aggregate victory against Morocco.

Banda, a key figure for Zambia, also made waves at the Tokyo Olympics, where the team earned a single point. Starting their campaign against the United States in France, they look to build on their previous Olympic experience.

In a historic first, the women’s final will mark the culmination of the football tournament at the Olympics.

Qualified Teams For Paris 2024 Olympics Women’s Football:

France (as host nation)
USA (Concacaf W Champions)
Canada (Concacaf play-off winners)
Brazil (Copa América Femenina semi-finalists)
Colombia (Copa América Femenina semi-finalists)
New Zealand (OFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament winner)
Spain (UEFA Women’s Nations League finalist)
Japan (AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament)
Australia (AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament)
Germany (UEFA Women’s Nations League third-place play-off winner)
Nigeria (CAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament)
Zambia (CAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament)