Nam, Zim qualify for Hockey Africa Cup

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Harare – The Namibia and Zimbabwe hockey teams have qualified for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations without breaking a sweat after Africa Hockey cancelled the qualifiers.

Both the senior men’s and women’s teams from the two Southern African countries made the final cast of contenders for the quadrennial tournament, which will be held in January 2022 at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium in Accra, Ghana.

The teams qualified courtesy of their current World Hockey rankings as the qualifiers were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Namibia and Zimbabwe were supposed to take part in the Central-Southern Africa regional qualifiers that were scheduled for May in Zimbabwe. But Africa Hockey decided to shelve the qualifiers due to the enlarged costs of holding international sports events, which require establishment of bio-secure bubbles to protect players and officials from new coronavirus infection.

Botswana, Eswatini, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe were scheduled to battle it out for the two available tickets from the Central-Southern Africa region.

Zimbabwe’s Deputy Sports Minister Tino Machakaire this week said, “The Zimbabwe women’s and men’s senior hockey teams have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Ghana. They have made it courtesy of their superior rankings along with Namibia, who I also want to congratulate.

“We will be there to support the teams as they prepare for the event. They have qualified without having to go for the qualifiers but their rankings still show that they are good so we are looking forward to supporting the team in every way possible.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams from South Africa had qualified without having to go through the qualification tourney by virtue of being in the top two of the Africa and world rankings.

Teams who have made it in the men’s category include South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Egypt, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and the hosts Ghana. The women’s cast has Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and the hosts, Ghana.

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