With all the three African countries losing their first round of matches in the on-going 8th FIFA Women’s World Cup final in France, stakeholders have decried African teams’ poor results so far.
They are also expecting that the teams will bounce back to the winning ways in their subsequent matches in the month-long competition which will enter its second stage tomorrow.
Debutant South Africa lost 3-1 to Spain last Saturday in Le Havre and an hour later experienced campaigners, Nigeria was beaten 3-0 by Norway in Reims just as Cameroon yesterday lost to Canada 1-0 to complete very bad start for the African teams in France.
But women’s football promoter, Prince Charles Azubuike, proprietor of Charliz Hotels & Fast food in Owerri, Imo state contended that the performances of the African teams so far is clearly a true reflection of the standard of women’s football in the African continent.
According to him, “there is no doubt that women’s football has not taken root in African countries. A lot still need to be down and I am sad that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has not done much to develop the game in the continent. Except the African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) which started in 1998 as the African Women’s Championship (AWC), CAF has not thought it wise to promote continental clubs competition to develop the game further”.
Prince Azubuike who sponsors a local women’s football competition that has produced national team players opined that that things may not improve for the African teams at the Women’s World Cup final if CAF does not take women’s football serious as the Europeans and Asian continents have done.
Also former Team Manager of defunct Princess Jegede Babes of Lagos, John Obijiaku agreed that CAF has not helped matters as it has failed to establish continental clubs competition to give African players and teams the opportunity to play more games to be able to compete at the bigger stages with the rest of the world.
For former Assistant Coach of Pelican Stars of Calabar, Akeem Kasali women’s football has not got the proper attention in most African countries and the matter has been made worse by lack of interest shown by CAF by its failure to see reason in starting a continental clubs competitions.