Mali have announced their preliminary squad of 38 players of the country’s senior women football team for the maiden Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Tournament scheduled to take place next month in the commercial city of Lago, Nigeria.
The Malians who are ranked ninth in Africa and 84th in the world will test might against hosts and African champions Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, South Africa and Cameroon at the September 13 – 21 tournament in Lagos.
Mali’s provisional squad are Adoudou Konate, Aissat Bengaly, Djouma Kamate, Oumou Kone, Aissata Sidibe, Hadiaratou Coulibaly, Nassoum Keita, Sarantou Traore, Maimouna Togola, Assetou Traore (Super Lionesses); Oumou Traore, Hawa Traore, Bassira Toure, Aicha Samake, Fatoumata Diarra (AS Mande); Fatim Bah, Zainab Sidibe, Fatoumata Konate, Fatou Dembele (Amazone CV); Fatouma Karentao, Oumou Toure, Oumou Tangara (USFAS); Awa Keita, Binta Diarra, Lala Dicko (AS Real); Maimouna Traore (AS Police); Aissata Traore (Guingamp); Aissata Diadhiou (FC RM Maison); Agaissa Diarra (CM Layoun); Coulouba Sogore (AJ Auxerre); Yakare Niakate (FC Malo); Kani Konte, Oumou Fofana (VGS Sain Maur); Haby Wande, Tiguida Diaby (AS Monaco); Tenin Sissoko (Fleury FC); Bintou Kone (Kenifra); Sebe Coulibaly (Yzeur).
Meanwhile, the buzz and excitement for Dr Aisha Buhari Cup is gathering momentum, as the ever-passionate and vibrant Lagos fans eagerly look forward to welcoming the African Ladies to the City of Aquatic Splendour.
With the theme, Playing for Good, the visiting teams won’t be starved of support from the home crowd.
The pleasure of playing in Lagos is extreme. It is a place where fans are ever ready to switch their loyalty to any side that meets their football expectations.
“I will support the Mali team, even though I know that Nigeria will win the Cup,” says Emmanuella, a JSS 2 student of Birrel High School Sabo, Yaba. For her friends Bose and Ifeoluwa, both students of Onike Girls Secondary School, the Aisha Buhari Cup tournament will provide them the opportunity to see four – time African Woman Player of the Year winner, Asisat Oshoala.
“Most of our classmates talk about Asisat Oshoala; will she play? We would like to come and watch her play for Nigeria.” Emeka Ndidi, a shop owner at Shitta, Surulere, believes the rivalry among Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon is the spice that makes women football in the continent tick.
“You know the rivalry between the Super Falcons and these other countries is a big one. It will be interesting to watch them and see if they can measure up to Nigeria.”