Grace Chanda to Miss WAFCON Qualifiers Due to Ongoing Recovery
In a setback for the Copper Queens, star forward Grace Chanda is set to be absent from the upcoming 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) qualifiers. The 26-year-old, who has been undergoing medical assessments at her club in Madrid, Spain, continues her recovery from an undisclosed illness that sidelined her during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Sources from BolaNews have confirmed that Chanda, the runner-up for the 2022 CAF Women’s Footballer of the Year Award, will not be available for the crucial WAFCON qualifier matches against Angola scheduled for November 27, 2023, and December 12, 2023.
Chanda’s absence is a blow for the Copper Queens, adding to the challenges they already face with other key players missing from the WAFCON qualifiers. Marget Belemu and Ochumba Oseke are engaged in military training with the Zambia Air Force, and goalkeeper Hazel Nali is recovering from an ACL injury, making her unavailable for selection.
The Madrid CFF forward last participated in a match for her club in May during a 2-1 Liga F victory over Barcelona in the previous season. Her undisclosed illness, treated with privacy in mind, has kept her out of action this season, and the anticipated return is set for January next year.
During her debut season at Madrid CFF, Chanda displayed her prowess, scoring three goals in 11 starts out of 26 games. However, she has not featured in any games this season, adding to the challenges faced by both her club and the national team.
Chanda’s last appearance in national colors was in June when she played for Zambia in a thrilling 3-3 draw against Switzerland, contributing the opening goal before being substituted in the second half. The Copper Queens will miss her dynamic presence on the field but hope for her swift and complete recovery.