African draw reveals final pathway
© AFP

Africa’s road to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ has been determined following the draw for October’s CAF African Women’s Championship.

Hosts Namibia have been handed a tough task lining up alongside the continent’s most successful nation, Nigeria. Also alongside the six-time Women’s World Cup participants in Group A are debutants Zambia, and Cote d’Ivoire; surprise preliminary round conquerors of Germany 2011 qualifiers and defending champions Equatorial Guinea.

Group B features three-time Women’s World Cup finalists Ghana, 2012 Olympic Games participants South Africa, Cameroon and Algeria.

“For me, it’s the toughest group; with South Africa which qualified for the Olympics, Ghana – good women’s team - and Algeria, also a strong side,” said Cameroon coach Enow Ngachu. “We have been working for a long time and we have to put in more effort in our bid to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. We have to maximize our chances during preparations.”

Much interest will be on tournament debutants Namibia, who have put significant focus on women’s football in recent years.

“We have been paired in a very tough group, especially if you are to face Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire, which eliminated holders Equatorial Guinea during the qualifiers,” said Namibia coach Jacqueline Shipanga. “Zambia is in the same situation just as being first timers. Looking at it, it is a group of death. From now, we want to engage stronger teams to get better. Namibia has one of the youngest teams but the girls are extremely determined and confident to do well.”

The tournament will be held in Windhoek between 11-25 October, with the top three teams to earn passage to Canada 2015.