Panafrican News Agency

CAF set to introduce Women's Champions League

Cairo, Egypt (PANA) - The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is considering the launch of a female club championship on the continent as part of its development strategy.

According to reports on its website on Thursday, CAF is about to lay the foundations to grow the women's game, by discussing the introduction of the Women's Champions League for the first time on the continent.

Africa has continued to struggle in their quest for success on the global stage in two decades after none of its representatives reached the Women's World Cup quarter-finals in France last year.

Debutants South Africa were knocked out at the group stage, while Nigeria and Cameroon exited in the Round of 16.

Since the Africa Women's Cup of Nations inception in 1991, Nigeria have dominated but CAF aims to strike the perfect balance to ensure its teams become a force in women's football globally.

Last November, CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad, had vowed to strengthen the growth of women's football and make it a key priority of his administration during the launch of a strategic plan.

"I urge all of you here to seize this tremendous opportunity to make a tangible contribution to the development of women's football on our continent," Ahmad said.

"Your ideas and expertise will help us to establish a strong roadmap for women’s football that will give every young African girl who wants to play the opportunity to do so, regardless of her level and her country of origin."

In efforts to further boost the women’s game, CAF will implement a four-year women's football strategic plan for Africa, which was launched in collaboration with FIFA last November in Egypt.

Sports analysts say the Women’s CAF Champions League is on the agenda for its Executive Committee meeting next Tuesday.

This development has put smiles on the faces of players, stakeholders and fans alike, including South Africa captain Janine Van Wyk, who took to social media to share her delight.

"Fantastic news for women’s football in Africa as the @CAF_Online Executive Committee will discuss the launch of continental club competition for Women's football," she wrote on Twitter.

Besides the Champions League introduction, another women's football subject on the agenda is the 2020 Africa Women's Cup of Nations, which is expected to feature 12 teams for the first time. This expansion is expected to see 36 nations participate in the qualifiers.

At the moment, the tournament is yet to have a host since the withdrawal of Congo last July. Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea have since confirmed bids for the event, which South Africa had rejected.

Earlier this week, CAF acting secretary, Abdelmounaïm Bah, raised concerns over the possibility of staging the tournament this year.

"We have the same challenges like the AFCON with two slots to play the qualifiers that were slated for April and June,” Bah said.

"There’s a risk of not having the AWCON this year but we are considering different options to make the best decision for the game.”

A final decision on these subject and other related women's football matters are expected to be made public after Tuesday's meeting.

-0- PANA VAO 26June2020