Malawi women’s football champions Ntopwa have been handed in Group A of the 2023 Caf Women’s Champions League/Cosafa Qualifier alongside last year’s winners Green Buffaloes from Zambia, Double Action Ladies from Botswana and Lesotho Defence Force.
The qualifiers are slated for August 30 to September 8 in Durban, South Africa.
Ntopwa Director Isaac Jomo Osman described the group as tricky but said his charges are ready for their maiden appearance on the international stage.
“We are not intimidated. No room for too much respect. We will go there to surprise them. The good thing [is] we know how Zambian teams play and we can beat them,’’ Osman said.
Ntopwa will be the first Malawian team to take part in the qualifiers after FCB Nyasa Big Bullets Women and Silver Strikers Ladies (formerly DD Sunshine) failed to take part in two previous editions.
Buffaloes and Double Action have been taking part in the Caf Champions League/Cosafa Qualifiers as they participated in two previous editions whereas Lesotho Defence Force Ladies made their maiden appearance last year.
Group B comprises 2021 winners Mamelodi Sundowns, Olympic de Moroni from Comoros, Costa do Sol from Mozambique and Young Buffaloes from eSwatini.
According to Cosafa, the teams will face off in a round robin format, with two teams from each group advancing to the semi finals of the competition.
Group A winner will face the runner-up in the Group and vice-versa.
The winner will qualify for Caf Afcon finals to be staged from November 5 to 19 in Ivory Coast.