The Copper Queens will have to wait until next year to make their historic appearance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games following the postponement of the event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a joint statement, the organisers of Tokyo 2020 and the IOC said: “The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating.
The event, due to begin on 24 July, will now take place “no later than summer 2021”.
“I proposed to postpone for a year and [IOC] president Thomas Bach responded with 100% agreement,” Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
The event will still be called Tokyo 2020 despite taking place in 2021.
“On Monday, the director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘accelerating’.
It is the latest major sporting event to be postponed or cancelled because of coronavirus, following Euro 2020, Masters golf and the French Open tennis.
The Zambia Women National Team has qualified to the Olympic Games becoming the first female football team to achieve that feat.
It has taken 32 years for a Zambian team to return to the Olympics since the 1988 men’s team that famously reached the quarterfinals.