By Harry Awurumibe
“This is the culmination of hard work that began several years ago. CAF was committed to introducing new competitions to strengthen the clubs and leagues of the continent when it developed the 2020-2023 women’s football strategy. Promise kept, since women’s football clubs now have their Champions League”.
With these words, the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Director of Competitions, Monsieur Samson Adamu, has proved to the whole world the intention of the continental football governing body’s determination to develop and promote women’s football in the same way it’s doing for men football.
After a qualification phase organized in the form of decentralized zone tournaments, the first edition of the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League (#TotalEnergiesCAFWCL) is scheduled in Egypt from November 5 to 19.
Adamu who made these statements on the occasion of the Draw for the first edition of the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League (#TotalEnergiesCAFWCL) competition which was held on Wednesday, September 29 at CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.
At the event which saw Nigerian Women’s Football Legend, Perpetua Nkwocha and Captain of Wadi Degla FC of Egypt, Alia Zenouki assist Adamu to conduct the Draw, CAF’s vision which aims “to build a solid identity of women’s football in Africa and to offer girls and to women playing opportunities, career and representation” was reiterated.
The CAF Director of Competitions who conducted the draw, was enthusiastic about the materialization of what was still abstract a few months ago.
Below is the full statement:
“This is a very historical moment for us in CAF and especially from an organizational point of view. We moved from conceptualization to strategy and now we are in the implementation stage.”, Adamu said during the ceremony of the drawing of lots.
“Part of our implementation is the Women’s Champions League which we are doing the draw here today. It was a cry for many clubs, I am sure Alia (Zenouki) was one of the players that have been crying to see a continental competition. Now we are here and CAF is actually the second confederation to have a fully-fledged CAF Women’s Champions League. This is great for us.”
Qualifiers captured attention, paving the way for discussions about the quality of football produced from one zone to another. But before being able to create this enthusiasm, CAF had to regulate the use of the competition management system from the zonal qualifiers. This is how 34 clubs obtained a CAF club license for the first time.
“How not to rejoice with such a convincing commitment on the part of the Member Associations? The women’s leagues are however those which know the most turbulence, interruptions, for lack of means but also sometimes for lack of vision.
“The multiplicity of platforms for the expression of African talent.
If we generally only remember the good actions of matches, it is because men and women invest every day in order to make an entertainment product.
“But beyond the spectacle on the field, football is a means of empowerment for the actors and especially for the women who practice it.
It is therefore logical that the football development, especially women’s football, turns out to be one of the main priorities of the new CAF.
“The impetus was given by CAF by promoting participation and introducing other competitions, knowing that the desire to evolve on the continental stage would be an additional motivation for both the clubs and the players.
For a long time, the TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations was the only real springboard for players on the continent. The most popular event in African women’s football has therefore also changed and the improvements will be seen in the next final tournament scheduled for Morocco in the summer of 2022.
“The implementation (of the strategy) is also materialized with the transition of the women’s AFCON from 8 to 12 twelve (participating) teams for the final tournament. These are progress made by CAF and for African football. Only the sky will be the limit for African women’s football. », concluded the CAF Director of Competitions”.
Meanwhile, after a qualification phase organized in the form of decentralized zone tournaments, the first edition of the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League is scheduled take place in Egypt from November 5 to 19.
Nigeria Women’s Football League (NWFL) reigning champions, Rivers Angels FC of Port Harcourt is among the eight clubs that will participate in the two-week competition.
Awurumibe, Africa’s No.1 Women’s Football Journalist