CAF and FIFA are combining to run key educational workshops for coaches, players and technical staff during the inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League (WCL) being held in Egypt.
During the 14-day competition, which pits the eight best female club teams on the continent against each other, several workshops are being held to further boost women’s football development in Africa.
The focussed, tailored workshops form part of CAF’s Women’s Football Strategy, which aims to take women’s football to new heights on the continent.
The strategy focuses on five main priorities; development, competitions, marketing & promotion, professionalisation & leadership and social impact.
The workshops, organised by CAF with the support of FIFA, have involved players and coaches competing in the WCL, aimed at improving coaching, the benefits of professionalism and preventing injury.
Another has focused on a new Women’s Club Licensing System, unveiled to coaches and managers from the eight clubs that have qualified for the final tournament.
FIFA and CAF teams have also met with each club individually to discuss these topics in detail. Players and coaches expressed gratitude to CAF for starting this competition and creating this platform that allows them to compete against the best on the African continent, while also allowing the women’s game and specifically female players the visibility they deserve.
FIFA is also using this tournament to highlight the importance of furthering research into African women’s football, particularly to avoid injuries.
Dr. Nonhlanhla S. Mkumbuzi is heading up research into this area, with FIFA’s support. “With support from FIFA’s Women’s Football Division, we are conducting injury and illness surveillance studies at African women’s football tournaments such as the Women’s Champions League to characterize the types, causes and severity of injuries and illnesses that African women football players experience in competition,” said Dr. Mkumbuzi.
Such initiatives are in keeping with FIFA’s Vision 2020-2023, which aims to both accelerate the growth of women’s football and make football truly global.
The action on the field at the CAF WCL has been exhilarating, with each team so far playing two matches in the group stages.
South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. and Ghana’s Hasaacas Ladies F.C. have been the early pace-setters, winning two matches from two to top their respective groups.
The CAF WCL final will take place at 30 June Stadium in Cairo on 19 November.