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We’ll fight for honours at Aisha Buhari Cup – Houssein, Coach of Mali

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Head Coach of Mali Women National Team, Saloum Mohamed Houssein believes his side will have a good outing at the Aisha Buhari Cup tournament holding in the City of Lagos, Nigeria next month.

The Female Eagles will compete in the six-nation tournament organised in honour of the country’s First Lady, Dr (Mrs) Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, with its theme Playing for Good.

The nine-day competition will see the Malians slug it out with hosts and reigning African champions Nigeria and Morocco in Group A, with matches scheduled for Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan.

While lauding Dr Aisha Buhari for supporting women’s football, the former Mali international is gladdened by his side’s chances of testing themselves against powerhouses on the continent.

“First of all, I salute the initiative of Nigeria’s First Lady, Dr (Mrs) Aisha Buhari and the support towards the girls and women teams that were selected for the tournament,” Houssein told ABC Media

“We are very happy to be among the invited countries for a competition that features the best women’s teams on the continent.

“We are less than two months away from the start of the qualifiers for the Women AFCON, so it’s a good test for us. We have the ambition to fight for a good result in Lagos, even as our group opponents are Nigeria and Morocco.

In the group stage, the Female Eagles are up against the Super Falcons, who thrashed them 8-0 in 2015 (their biggest ever defeat in history) and Atlas Lionesses that beat them 6-2 on aggregate in a double-header friendly.

The Malians will hope to use the Aisha Buhari Cup as part of preparations for their first-round showdown with Guinea in the 2022 Women Africa Cup of Nations race in October 2021.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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