Barbra Banda of Zambia is qualified to compete at the Women’s World Cup in 2017, according to a top Fifa official in women’s football.
The Zambia FA (Faz), which said the 22-year-old had failed a gender eligibility test, disqualified her from competing in this year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
The top women’s football officer for Fifa, Sarai Bareman, told BBC Sport Africa, “We are looking forward to welcoming her to Australia and New Zealand next year to participate.”
Because of its understanding of a medical document that the Confederation of African Football (Caf), which was adopted by Fifa, used, Faz has previously claimed that it disqualified its finest player from the finals.
These regulations, which led Faz to ban Banda from the Wafcon rather than Caf, are currently being changed.
Fifa is now examining its rules governing gender eligibility; a consultation process is underway, according to Bareman.
“My team is clearly a key part of that consultation process, and in the next few months, you’ll see a new set of rules come out of Fifa as many sports are also looking at their own rules,” the author said.
When Banda became the first female athlete in the lengthy history of the Olympics to score consecutive hat-tricks in Tokyo in 2020, she catapulted to international fame.
After skipping Wafcon, she rejoined the national squad in September and assisted Zambia in capturing its first-ever regional title in southern Africa. She was named both the tournament’s top scorer and best player.
The new gender eligibility rules are expected to be published before the 2023 Women’s World Cup, according to football’s global governing body, although it is still unclear whether gender testing will become a staple of the women’s game in the future.
It’s a very complicated subject, and many, many people have opinions about it, according to Bareman.
“As Fifa, it is our responsibility to take into account every viewpoint since, in order to make judgments, we need to evaluate all relevant information, including research, evidence, individual circumstances, and human rights concerns.
“It’s going to have a tremendous influence on a lot of people. It’s a big decision.”
Faz said that three further prospective squad members were disqualified from the competition due to gender eligibility requirements during the Wafcon in Morocco in July.