Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Namibia to face Ghana in U20 Women’s World Cup qualifier

The National Women Under 20 side will have to negotiate their way past Ghana in the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup first hurdle.

This follows the draw for the African qualifiers this week for the 7th edition of the tournament from 18 August to 9 September 2012 which will see 16 teams, comprising representatives from all six confederations represented.

Namibia’s first assignment will be away to Accra on 18 February 2012 with the return leg in Windhoek scheduled for 3 March 2012.

The winner of the fixture will have to battle it out in the second round of the qualifiers against the winner between South Africa vs. Botswana/ Comoros in April, with the latter having to first meet in the preliminary round at the end of October 2011.

According to Jackey Gertze, the encounter against Ghana will be an opener for Namibia but they would be up for the challenge.

“Ghana has shown over the past few years that they are a force to reckoned with in women’s football. Their team was at the Under 20 World Cup in Germany two years ago and most of these players were also in Germany for the senior World Cup this year and they are very good. But we have good upcoming girls too that need the exposure and we will make full use of it”, Gertze commented.

If Namibia does advance to the third and final round, they will face off against either Zambia, Morocco, Tunisia or Kenya/Lesotho in May next year.

The host nation of the 2012 Women’s World Cup was to be decided on 19 March 2010 but it was postponed by FIFA to give bidders more time to prepare their bids.

Vietnam had originally won the right the host the tournament. However, Vietnam's bid imploded late last year (2010) and New Zealand had initially been asked to be ready as a backup venue. New Zealand, however, was eventually awarded the Men's 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Vietnam had to withdraw its bid, because it couldn't guarantee government backing and found the FIFA bid process "taxing". FIFA finally awarded the right to host the games to Uzbekistan on March 3, 2011.

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