Copper Queens to face Great Britain in International friendly

Zambia will meet Great Britain Women’s Football at Stoke City’s stadium on Thursday 1 July in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 (to be played in July 2021) games.

The Copper Queens qualified for their first Women’s Olympic Football Tournament following a 4-4 draw with Cameroon which saw them earn qualification on the away-goals rule.  The continent’s only qualifying team for Tokyo 2020, Zambia have been drawn in Group F and will face incoming England coach Sarina Wiegman’s Netherlands on 21 July in their first match of the Games.

For Great Britain comprising England, Wales and Scotland players, it will be only the second time that Team GB have entered a women’s football team since the introduction of the event to the Olympic schedule in 1996.

Team GB fielded a football squad for the first time in the London 2012 Olympic Games.  The team reached the quarter-finals, with the United States the eventual winners after beating this summer’s hosts Japan 2-1 to win gold for a third consecutive time.

“I’m delighted that we have secured a match on home soil which allows fans to watch us play before we depart for Tokyo,” said head coach Hege Riise.

“It’s been a long time since supporters have had the opportunity to watch any of the home nations play, and the chance to see our GB squad compete before the Games is a rare occasion indeed.

“We’re so excited to see what we can achieve out in Tokyo and we’ll go out there aiming to win.  But we also aim to inspire young female footballers from across Great Britain to take up the support and further grow the game.

“We’re honoured to welcome Zambia to Great Britain for this match.  They have excelled in securing qualification for the Olympics and their achievement and the legacy they will provide will also help grow the women’s game in Zambia.

“On behalf of our entire squad I’d like to thank National Lottery players for making it possible not only for us to host this match but to prepare us in the best possible way to compete for gold in Tokyo.”

A limited number of tickets for the match, which kicks-off at 7.15pm BST, will go on sale to fans from 11am on Friday 11 June, and will also be broadcast on broadcast on BBC Four.

Great Britain, who have been drawn in Group E, will face Chile in the opening game of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Sapporo on 21 July, followed by hosts Japan on 24 July before travelling to Kashima to take on Canada on 27 July.

The National Lottery is backing GB women’s football at Tokyo 2020 by providing crucial support as players from across the four home nations come together with the ambition of striking gold.  As well as ensuring the British public get a rare chance to see a GB team compete on home soil by making this international possible, The National Lottery is also providing for training camps and the squad’s travel and logistics needs.

FAZ Media/EnglandFootball

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