Super Falcons on standby as Paris 2024 Olympics’ qualifiers begin July 10
Nigeria will meet the winner of the Ethiopia versus Chad game of the African zone of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualifying series in its bid to return to the games.
The Super Falcons failed to qualify for the Japan 2020 edition of the Games following an aggregate loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the qualifying series.
In the draw announced by the Confederation of African (CAF) yesterday in Cairo, Egypt, the Super Falcons will begin their campaign in the second round with the aforesaid game against either Ethiopia or Chad between October 21 and 31, 2023.
There are exciting fixtures lined up in the first round of the series, including a West African derby pitting Guinea and Ghana, while Uganda will take on Rwanda in an East African duel.
Burkina Faso will take on Mali in another entertaining fixture in the first round.
According to CAF, a total of 25 teams have entered the Olympic qualifying tournament, with 18 set to be involved in the first round. The remaining seven, headlined by champions, South Africa, are the highest ranked teams from last year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) and will join the competition in the second round “The nine winners from the first round will join the seven highest ranked teams for a second-round tie involving 16 teams”.
The eight winners progress to the third round, then the fourth round where the teams will be whittled to four.
“Winners of the fourth round will qualify for the final tournament,” CAF said.
Zambia represented Africa at the 2020 Games in Tokyo and the She-polopolo will start their journey towards a possible back-to-back qualification in the second round.
The first-round matches are scheduled for July 10 to 18 2023, the second round October 23 to 31, third round February 19 to 28 February, 2024, while the final round will be staged between April 1 and 9, 2024.
The first round games will see Guinea Bissau against Benin Republic, Guinea versus Ghana, Burkina Faso versus Mali, Cote d’Ivoire against Sierra Leone, Namibia versus Equatorial Guinea, Uganda against Rwanda, Ethiopia versus Chad, Congo take on Tanzania and Mozambique against DR Congo.
For the second round, the winner of the Guinea Bissau/Benin game will trade tackles with the victor in the Guinea versus Ghana game.
The survivor of the Burkina Faso/Mali tie will meet Zambia, just as the winner of the Cote d’Ivoire/Sierra Leone game will tackle Tunisia.
If Namibia beat Equatorial Guinea, they will meet Morocco, just as the winner of the game between Uganda and Rwanda will meet Cameroun, with the Congo versus Tanzania winner billed to play against Botswana.
African champions, South Africa, lie in wait for the winner of the Mozambique versus DR Congo game.