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Zambian player confirmed dead ahead of Olympic qualifier against Ghana

Tragedy has befallen the Shepolopolo camp as Zambia mourns the passing of one of their strikers, Norin Betani, ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games qualifier against Ghana.

The Football Federation of Zambia (FAZ) announced on Wednesday morning that Betani, aged 24, had passed away in hospital.

According to FAZ general secretary Reuben Kamanga, Betani had reported to the camp while ill and was subsequently taken to the hospital for examination on doctors’ recommendation.

Initially taken to the hospital nearest to the team’s camp, Betani was later transferred to the University hospital on Monday, where she remained under medical care until her untimely death.

The FA statement revealed that Betani had been diagnosed with ‘suspected malaria.’

“We regret to announce the death of one of our female players Norin Betani who was in the provisional squad for the Ghana match. Betani was taken to the nearest hospital to the team camp which is Kanyama Level One hospital and FAZ engaged the family at every stage,” wrote the Zambian Football Federation on their official Facebook page.

“The patient was referred to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) on Monday and was under medical care until her demise. FAZ secretariat staff, family members and her club (Indeni Roses) worked closely during the player’s hospitalization.”

Betani, who played as a striker for the Indeni Roses in the Zambian championship, had a promising career, having scored 11 goals last season and 4 this season.

Her last club match was against YASA Queens on February 11. Her sudden passing has sent shockwaves through the Zambian football community.

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