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Zambia lose first choice keeper Hazel Nali

by Lesley Ngwa
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Hazel Nali, Zambia’s first choice keeper, has been ruled out of the FIFA Women’s world cup, due to a knee injury sustained, in the buildup to their friendly against Germany last July 7.

The football association of Zambia (FAZ) has announced her unavailability for this tournament on their Facebook page upon receiving medical results of the 25-years-old.

“A preliminary examination was done in Germany which led to the player missing the friendly match, with an MRI done in New Zealand ruling out the player for the rest of the tournament. Our medics in liaison with the FIFA Medical Committee have informed us that Nali suffered laxity in the Medial Collateral Ligament and a complete tear of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL),” Reuben Kamanga, FAZ General Secretary explains.

Medics advise healing will take about 6 months, reasons why the association has opted to fly her back to Zambia to continue rehabilitation.

“The ACL is pivotal in the support system of the knee, and the medics have recommended that it will take a minimum of six months to repair it so that she slowly returns to training depending on how she heals,” Kamanga continues.

Hazel’s absence is a giant blow to the copper queens. Her experience in the 2020 Summer Olympics, COSAFA women’s championship and other continental tournaments would have served the team against the likes of Japan, Spain, and Costa Rica.

The Vatan Spor keeper played a pivotal role in Zambia finishing third in the 2022 Women’s Africa cup of nations. Her replacement will be announced in the upcoming days.

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