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Zambia under-17 women national soccer team complains of racist remarks at World Cup tournament

LUSAKA, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Zambia' s soccer governing body says it has launched internal investigations following allegations of racism by Venezuela during a 2014 Under-17 Women' s World Cup game in Costa Rica, the Zambia Daily Mail reported on Friday.

Venezuela beat Zambia 4-0 during a Group A match on Wednesday with some Zambian players claiming that they were subjected to racism remarks by Venezuela players before and during the match.

Team captain Martha Tembo claimed she was repeatedly referred to as a 'nigger' by Venezuela captain Lourdes Moreno, who she was marking.

Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) vice-president Boniface Mwamelo said internal investigations have been launched to establish the truth before reporting the matter to world soccer governing body, FIFA.

"FIFA is strictly on racism and they want evidence to go with the complaint. So, we have started our internal investigation before we lodge an official complaint," he was quoted as saying by the paper.

Zambia, who have lost their two opening games to Venezuela and Italy, play their last formality match against hosts Costa Rica on Saturday.

The Zambian government has said it is to blame for the team' s poor performance at the tournament because it has not put in place deliberate measures to ensure that there is a competitive women soccer league in the country.

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