The Zambia Women’s National Team has been hit with a major blow, First choice goalkeeper Hazel Nali has been ruled out of the World Cup due to injury.
The 2022 WAFCON hero suffered a knee injury prior to the Copper Queens historical 3-2 international friendly win over Germany.
According to a press statement by FAZ Communications Manager, Sydney Mungala availed to the ZamFoot Crew, Nali suffered laxity in the Medial Collateral Ligament and a complete tear of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).
“The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) wishes to inform its members and stakeholders that the Zambia Women National Team first choice goalkeeper Hazel Nalis FIFA World Cup journey has come to an end due to injury.”
FAZ General Secretary Reuben Kamanga says Nali who sustained a left knee injury in the period preceding the July 7 international friendly match with Germany in Furth underwent a medical check-up in Germany and New Zealand which has ruled her out of the tournament.
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), Kamanga told FAZ Media.
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 says the player will head back home where she is expected to undergo treatment and rehabilitation.
In the meantime, the player will be leaving camp for treatment and rehabilitation back home. The technical bench has since advised on the replacement in the goalkeeping department, he says.
Zambia plays Japan on July 22 at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton with the second match coming up four days later in Auckland against Spain at Eden Park Stadium. The final group match is against Costa Rica on July 31 at Waikato Stadium.