Lusaka – The Zambia national women’s football team risks missing out on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games slated for July 23 to August 8 because of a shortage of funds.
A fundraising committee, chaired by Charity Lumpa, has only managed to raise US$100,000 of the targeted US$2 million for Africa’s sole representatives to prepare, travel and participate in the Games in Japan.
The committee is now looking to the government to extend financial support.
“So we far we have had some responses, we haven’t yet reached the target and we are hoping to raise US$2 million. We hope others will come forward,” Lumpa said on Wednesday while receiving a US$5,000 donation from the United Bank Africa.
The Zambia National Commercial Bank has given extended US$10,000, MultiChoice US$20,000, and Saro Agro US$1,000, among other contributions to the cause.
Despite this, the women’s team – Shepolopolo – remains hopeful of competing in Tokyo and giving a good account of themselves.
The Bruce Mwape-tutored side is in Group F along with China, Brazil and the Netherlands. The Netherlands were runners-up at the Women’s World Cup two years ago and are the European champions. China are a women’s football powerhouse and were runners-up at the 1999 World Cup, while Brazil were silver medalists in 2007. Brazil have two silvers from the 2004 Games in Greece and the 2008 Games in China. China won silver at the 1996 Atlanta Games.