Zambian national women’s team captain Barbra Banda has been blocked from participating in the Africa Women’s Cup Of Nations (Awcon) tournament due to high testosterone levels in her body.
Banda, 22, was one of four players omitted from Zambia’s final AWCON squad after refusing to undergo hormone suppression treatment, after her testosterone levels were said to be above the Confederation of African Football’s limit for the tournament.
“Our medics engaged the players and they weren’t willing to go through with it — I think there are possible side effects,” FAZ communications director Sydney Mungala told ESPN.
“With the players not going down that route and taking up that option, the final decision was that they could not be included in the final list for the competition.”
CAF’s stringent’ testosterone testing is based on the FIFA’s “gender verification” regulations released in 2011.
The measures require soccer federations to “actively investigate any perceived deviation in secondary sex characteristics.”
Mungala said the Zambian FA is now working towards a long-term solution on the issue.
He added: “Our FA President [Andrew Kamanga] is in Morocco and has been pursuing this matter with his colleagues in CAF.
“The Barbra case is just one example, but the broader picture is to strive to see how these regulations can be more responsible for the general situation — not just Zambia.
“Many players can be affected by these regulations, and football is their livelihood. I think the CAF regulations are a lot more stringent [than Olympic regulations], and they put too much stress on testosterone levels.”