African women’s football is growing in popularity
It may still suffer from the comparison with that of men, but the African Cup of Nations (CAN) of women’s football is making its way.
The tournament, formerly called the African Football Championship by CAF, brings together from July 2 to 23, 2022 in Morocco, twelve African nations including the host country of course, but also Ghana, Cameroon and South Africa. just to name a few.
A challenged favorite
So many teams ready to outsmart Nigeria, the big favorite and winner of 11 of the 13 previous editions. Proof of a competition full of ambitious teams, the formation of the Super Falcons (nickname of the Nigerians) was beaten from the start on July 4, 2022 in the opening match of group C by the Banyana Banyana of South Africa.
In this remake of the final of the last CAN organized in Ghana, the women of coach Desiree Ellis, led by Thembi Kgatlana of the club Atletico Madrid, in the Spanish first division, proved the predictions wrong by winning by two goals to one.
This is a warning for the three-time defending champions, now deprived of one of their safe bets, in this case Asisat Oshola. Injured in the knee, the FC Barcelona striker and co-top scorer last season in the Spanish league, had to forfeit the rest of the tournament.
Skewer of stars
This means that each of the teams in the running is ready to sell its skin dearly against the Nigerian ogre. Apart from the trophy with a prize of 500,000 US dollars, the objective of the participants is to reach the last four, directly qualifying for the Women’s World Cup scheduled for Australia and New Zealand next year.
Each nation engaged in Morocco can, for this purpose, count on a few talents, some of which make the heyday of the biggest European clubs. To those already mentioned above, there is the Cameroonian Ajara Nchout, Prix Puskas and player of Inter Milan in the Italian elite championship.
An illustration of the brand of women’s football in constant professionalization on the African continent and whose enthusiasm is also reflected in the growing interest of advertisers. Current matches in Morocco are broadcast in 60 different countries.