Sports

Waldrum, Onome Ebi, others, attend CAF session on women’s football development 

Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

Super Falcons coach, Randy Waldrum and the team’s captain Onome Ebi on Wednesday attended the seminar organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to get opinions to develop women’s football in the continent.

CAF invited coaches and captains of teams in Group A and C in the TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations taking place in Rabat to engage in qualitative and healthy discussions to fashion out ways to improve the women’s event.

According to the continental football governing body which believe that the best opinions will come from the stakeholders like the on-field coaches and players, the mission is to improve women’s football and professionalise it.

In a statement by the President of the CAF Women’s Football Organising Committee, Kanizat Ibrahim, “Today, CAF’s mission is to improve the practice of women’s football on the continent and especially to professionalise it.

“I am counting on you enormously. Feel free to express and share all your needs to advance our football,” Ibrahim said in a refreshing address to the coaches and players present,” Ibrahim added.

Recounting what CAF has achieved since 2018, CAF Senior Manager of Women’s Football Development, Meskerem Goshime Tadesse said that several strides have been recorded.

He said, “Since 2018, we have put in place a strategy for women’s football and its development. Training for coaches, zone trainers, women’s football in schools, the increase of teams participating at WAFCON, the creation of a women’s Champions League and the creation of permanent competitions.”

He added that CAF had to improve on the coaching licences by upgrading the eligibility level from grade C to grade B.

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However, Groshime stressed that despite the strides that have been covered in the development of women’s football, there is much still left to be done.

He continued: “We proposed and then imposed contracts and licenses for the players. For a better level, coaches must have a B License, while at the beginning it was the C License.

“Despite how far we have come in this direction for the development of women’s football in our continent, much remains to be done,” added Groshime.

Ibrahim, who doubles as the First Vice President of CAF noted that the meeting with the captains and coaches today was a continuation of the interviews carried out by CAF directly with players and coaches, to get their buy-in and input on the development of football on the continent.

She added that Groshime, Raul Chipenda, Director of Development, Senior Manager of Women’s Football Development,  Mercy Tagoe, and Clementine Touré of the CAF Technical Study Group, had a “one-on-one” session with representatives of the teams present.

According to CAF, each coach and player was encouraged to freely reflect on their career and their personal experiences and to give their frank opinion on the status of women’s football on the continent.

Following the discussions with the respective coaches and players, continental football understood that the speed of women’s football development is not the same everywhere in Africa and that much still needed to be done to professionalise and develop the game across the continent.

The constructive session provided CAF with invaluable feedback and input, as it continues to develop the best strategies to develop and enhance women’s football on the continent.

Aside from coach Waldrum and Onome Ebi of Super Falcons, South Africa coach Desiree Ellis and veteran defender Janine Van Wyk, Burundi coach Gustave Niyonkuru and one of his best players Saffira Guinand, Uganda coach George Lutalo and goalkeeper Ruth Aturo, as well as Botswana national team boss Gaolethloo Nkutwisang and captain Bonan Otlhagile were also in attendance.

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