Zambian Barbra Banda kicked out over ‘gender eligibility’ issues

Zambia captain Barbra Banda has been ruled out of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) after failing gender eligibility tests.

Despite being allowed to play in last year’s Olympic Games, the 22-year-old forward has failed to meet the criteria required by global governing body Fifa, whose gender rules the Confederation of African Football (Caf) defers to regarding WAFCON.

“All the players had to undergo gender verification, a Caf requirement, and unfortunately she did not meet the criteria set by Caf,” Andrew Kamanga, the president of Zambia’s FA (Faz), told BBC Sport Africa.

“It’s unfortunate that we find ourselves going into the tournament without our best players.” Zambia opened their Group C campaign with a 0-0 draw against three-time runners-up Cameroon on Sunday and face Tunisia on Wednesday prior to finishing the group with a clash against debutants Togo at the weekend.

Banda shot to global prominence when becoming the first player to score back-to-back Olympic hat-tricks in Tokyo.

When asked by BBC Sport Africa on Sunday how it was possible for Banda to have played in the Olympics but not at WAFCON, Caf’s communications director Lux September responded by saying “there is no such decision from the Caf medical committee”.

Banda – who was pulled from the squad by Faz after she failed the verification on the eve of the finals – is one of the most prolific strikers in African women’s football and is currently in Morocco and training with the Copper Queens squad, despite being unable to play.



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