The Uganda U-17 Women national team will be set on achieving another milestone, by becoming the first national side to qualify for a World Cup finals tournament.
The U-17 girls’ side had a successful 2019, winning the COSAFA and CECAFA U17 Women Cups both at their first time of asking.
Heading into their maiden qualification campaign, the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, skipper Juliet Nalukenge is optimistic of leading the team to the finals.
Speaking to the media after day three of training at the FUFA Technical Center in Njeru, Nalukenge said that they are focused and ready for the challenging qualification campaign.
“On behalf of my team, I want to promise you that we are ready, focused and motivated to do our best to help us qualify, It is going to be quite challenging but we shall give our best to achieve our objective,” Nalukenge said.
The 2019 FUFA Female player of the year also appreciated the Federation (FUFA) for registering the team for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Nalukenge who scored over 55 goals for club and country during 2019, will have a peripheral role to pay upfront during the qualifying campaign.
Thirty players are undergoing residential training at Njeru, under head coach Ayub Khalifah. The team is expected to be trimmed down to 18 squad members before they play Ethiopia next week.
Uganda faces Ethiopia in the Preliminary qualifying round, with the first leg taking place in Uganda at the StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo on January 11th, 2020. The second leg is scheduled for January 20th in Addis Ababa.
The winner of the preliminary round will play in the second round/play-off round against the winner between Tanzania and Burundi.
The playoff round will also pit the winner between Namibia and Zambia against South Africa, while the victor between Botswana/Zimbabwe will take on either Djibouti or Morocco.
Cameroon will draw the winner between Sao Tome and Principe and DR Congo, as Ghana face either Liberia or Niger, while Nigeria will face the winner between Guinea or Guinea-Bissau.
The first and second-round matches also involving the teams drawn with byes are scheduled to be played in March and May 2020, respectively.
The winners of the second round games will seal a spot at the 2020 U-17 Women World Cup in India due November 2nd – 31st.