ZAMBIA’s Women National Team first-choice goalkeeper, Hazel Nali has been forced to end her FIFA World Cup journey due to a severe knee injury.
FAZ General Secretary Reuben Kamanga revealed that Nali sustained an injury to her left knee before the Copper Queen’s international friendly match against Germany last week in Furth.
Following the injury, she underwent medical examinations in both Germany and New Zealand, which confirmed her unavailability for the tournament.
“The preliminary examination conducted in Germany prevented Nali from participating in the friendly match, and an MRI performed in New Zealand ruled her out for the remainder of the tournament,” explained Kamanga.
“Our medical team, in consultation with the FIFA Medical Committee, informed us that Nali suffered laxity in the Medial Collateral Ligament and a complete tear of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). Repairing the ACL will take a minimum of six months, and her return to training will depend on her healing process.”
Nali will return home to undergo treatment and rehabilitation.
Kamanga assured the public that the team’s technical bench had already taken steps to address the gap in the goalkeeping department.
The Copper Queens are scheduled to face Japan on July 22 at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, followed by a match against Spain four days later at Eden Park Stadium in Auckland. The final group stage match is set against Costa Rica on July 31, also at Waikato Stadium.
By Moses Makwaya
Kalemba July 12, 2023