Caf women’s football strategic plan excites Van Wyk, Nchout, Ebi and Essam



The top African stars have lauded the four-year developmental agenda of the continent’s ruling body for the women’s game

South Africa’s Janine Van Wyk, Cameroon’s Ajara Nchout, Nigeria’s Onome Ebi and Egypt’s Sarah Essam have lauded the four-year women’s football strategy by the Confederation of African Football (Caf).

Earlier in June, Caf announced the inauguration of the Women’s Champions League, which is scheduled to kick off in 2021 as part of its strategic plan to grow the women’s game across the continent.

On Tuesday, Africa’s football ruling body organised a virtual conference, featuring top coaches and players, including the trio, to share its women’s football agenda and Champions League plan.

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Anthony Baffoe, the Caf deputy secretary-general, who chaired the conference, presented the various initiatives and proposed programme for women’s football development om the continent.

Besides Baffoe, Samson Adamu, the director of competitions, and Safia Abdel Dayem, the head of women’s football development, were at the virtual meeting to make presentations.

“We organized this meeting to listen to the players and coaches,” Baffoe told the Caf website.

“Now, the recently appointed Executive Directors of each of the Zonal Unions, have been tasked with ensuring that the women’s football strategy launched in July is in line with the objectives of the region, and for Member Associations to follow accordingly.”

In a post-conference reaction, Van Wyk, who captained Banyana Banyana to a maiden Women’s World Cup in France last year, described the development as a women’s football rebirth in Africa.

“Women’s football in Africa has just been reborn thanks to these efforts by Caf,” the 33-year-old, who recently featured for Glasgow City in Uefa Women’s Champions League told Caf.

“It is our duty to support this great initiative and I think that strategy will really aid the development of the game on our continent.”

Egyptian star Essam, who currently plays for English outfit Stoke City, lauded the agenda of Caf for the women’s game.

“It’s great to know that the future of African women’s football is in good hands and everyone is involved. I am very optimistic about this strategy,” she said.

On her part, Ebi, who became the first African to play at five World Cup tournaments with Nigeria, described the development as a dream come true.

“The Women’s Champions League is something we have been talking about for long. I’m glad it is gradually becoming a reality,” she noted.

For Nchout, who finished as runner-up in the 2019 Africa Women’s Player of the Year race, applauded the various steps taken by Caf to improve the fortune of the women’s game.

“Women’s football in Africa has just been reborn thanks to these efforts by CAF,” she told the same publication.

“It is our duty to support this great initiative and I think that strategy will really aid the development of the game on our continent.”

The coaches in attendance were Clementine Toure (Cote d’Ivoire), Desiree Ellis (South Africa) and Lamia Boumehdi (Morocco U-17).

Other players who also featured were Asisat Oshoala of Nigeria, South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana, Gaelle Enganamouit, Elizabeth Addo (Ghana) and Jean Sseninde (Uganda).



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