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One of the called-up players of the Copper Queens of Zambia for Friday’s 2024 Olympic Games qualifier against the Black Queens of Ghana is reported dead.

Norin Betani, who plies her trade for Indeni Roses FC, died on Wednesday, February 21, at the University Teaching Hospital.

She is reported to have died after being diagnosed with suspected malaria.

A statement issued by the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) on Wednesday confirmed the sad incident.

“We regret to announce the death of one of our female players, Norin Betani, who was in the provisional squad for the Ghana match,” the statement signed by FAZ General Secretary Reuben Kamanga said.

“Betani was taken to the nearest hospital to the team camp, which is Kanyama Level One hospital, and FAZ engaged the family at every stage.

“The patient was referred to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) on Monday and was under medical care until her demise. FAZ secretariat staff, family members, and her club (Indeni Roses) worked closely during the player’s hospitalization,” it added.

According to the statement, the “player reported to camp whilst unwell and was taken to the hospital for thorough examination on recommendation by team medics”.

Betani, 24, has scored four goals in the 2023/24 Women’s Super League season.