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Paris 2024 Olympic Games: Zambian player dies at age 24 before a qualifying match for the Games

48 hours before their match against Ghana on Friday, the first leg of the penultimate round of qualifying for the 2024 Olympic Games, the Zambia women’s team is in mourning. The Zambia Football Federation (FAZ) announced this Wednesday the death of striker Norin Betani.

Arriving ill at the training course, the 24-year-old player was urgently hospitalized for “suspected malaria”.

“FAZ general secretary Reuben Kamanga explained that the player reported to the camp while ill and was taken to hospital for a thorough examination on the recommendation of doctors. Betani was taken to the hospital closest to the team’s camp. The patient was then sent to the university hospital on Monday and was under medical care until her death,” the authority said in its press release.

“She showed that she could be one of the best players on the team”

“It’s really sad, especially as we were preparing for the match against Ghana in the Olympic qualifiers. When we heard the news early in the morning, all the players were very sad, even the coaches, because we did not expect it,” underlined Bruce Mwape, the coach, at a press conference.

“I think she was a very promising player. The first time we called her up, she showed she could be one of the best players on the team. It is very regrettable, I can only offer my condolences to the family,” adds the coach who is also the subject of a Fifa investigation for sexual touching during the last World Cup.

Striker for the Indeni Roses in the Zambian championship, Norin Betani scored 11 goals last season and 4 this season. She played her last club match on February 11 against YASA Queens.

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