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Sports News of Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Source: Graphic.com.gh

2018 Women's AFCON: Teams begin preparations

With barely two months to the kickoff of the 2018 Women's Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), teams that have qualified have begun their preparations.

Though the draw for the tournament is yet to be made, as well as finality brought on the host nation, the teams that have qualified have begun training in readiness for the competition which will be held from November 17 to December 1.

South Africa began their preparations almost right after qualifying last June by honouring some special invitational tournaments in North Africa.

Next week, they step up their preparing by hosting this year's COSAFA Women's Championship and have invited the 2016 Women's AFCON hosts and runners-up, Cameroun to the eight-nation tournament which takes place from September 12 to 24.

Also playing in the competition are Zambia who have qualified for the Ghana tournament.

After the COSAFA tournament, Cameroun will round up their preparation with an international friendly against France on October 9 in Grenoble, France before heading to the tournament venue.

Nigeria have also lined up an international friendly against Cote d'Ivoire, Algeria have also lined up two international friendlies with the opponents yet to be confirmed.

Ghana's Black Queens are currently preparing at the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence, but they are yet to confirm their international friendlies.

Though the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will make a final decision on September 28, over whether Ghana will still host or a new host will be named,

CAF inspectors have not been happy with the spate of preparation by Ghana, and after two inspections, the continental body will decide after the Women's Football Committee which meets on September has presented its final report and recommendation Ghana's preparations.

The qualified teams see this year's tournament as very crucial as it does not only give them the chance to challenge for the title, but it also presents them with the opportunity to vie for Africa's three slots for next year's Women's World Cup (WWC) in France.

The three top teams will qualify to play in that competition.

The seven teams that have qualified for the Women's AFCON are:

Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroun, Algeria, Zambia, Mali, Equatorial Guinea.