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Olympics: Great Britain to face Zambia in Stoke before Hege Riise's side travel to Tokyo for summer Games

Great Britain to play Zambia in Stoke on July 1 in preparation for Tokyo Olympics; tickets will go on sale from Friday, with around 7,000 supporters understood to be able to attend; Hege Riise's side begin Olympics campaign on July 21 against Chile

Handout photo provided by The FA of England Women interim boss Hege Riise. Issue date: Wednesday March 10, 2021
Image: England Women interim boss Hege Riise will lead Great Britain at this summer's Olympics

Great Britain will face Zambia at Stoke's bet365 Stadium in a warm-up match ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, the Football Association has announced.

The contest is to take place on July 1, with tickets for it going on sale from Friday morning. Around 7,000 fans will be permitted to attend, according to the Press Association.

GB head coach Hege Riise said: "I'm delighted that we have secured a match on home soil which allows fans to watch us play before we depart for Tokyo.

"It has 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 are 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."

GB are scheduled to begin their Olympic campaign by facing Chile in Sapporo on July 21, then take on hosts Japan at the same venue three days later before concluding their Group E fixtures with a July 27 clash in Kashima with Canada.

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Zambia are in Group F, along with Netherlands, Brazil and China.

Riise added: "We are 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."

The National Lottery is providing support for the GB team as they prepare for the Games, with regard to this match, training camps and travel and logistics.

And Riise said: "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."

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