22.7 C
Monday, October 2, 2023
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank

African Nations at the Women’s World Cup

Must read

The ninth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is about to kick off in Australia and New Zealand. Although there are more teams from Africa than ever before, there will be no Uganda team. The Crested Cranes have never made it to the finals but will hope to use their qualification for the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations as a springboard for future success.

There will be four African nations at this year’s World Cup though. Nigeria, Morocco. Zambia and South Africa will all be competing – and there might have been three more if they had made it past the final play-off tournament. Betting sites like those profiled at VegasBetting.com can tell you who the favorites for the trophy are. But we are going to look at the history of African teams at the finals – and how this year’s representatives might get on.

Africa at the Women’s World Cup

There have only ever been eight African nations at any Women’s World Cup in the nine editions of the tournament – and two of those will be making their debut this year. In a sport where money and investment are crucial to success, many of the countries from our continent have unfortunately been left behind.

But things are changing and the increased media attention on the competition can only be beneficial for the women’s game across Africa. The country that has definitely led the way for women’s football in Africa has been Nigeria. The Super Falcons have qualified for every single finals but have only gotten past the first round on two occasions.

That lack of progress at the finals is a familiar story. Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Ivory Coast and South Africa have all failed to get out of the group stage – with the Black Queens of Ghana failing at three consecutive tournaments. Only Cameroon (apart from Nigeria) has made it further, when the Indomitable Lionesses lost to England in the round of 16 in France in 2019. Can the African sides do better this year?


The Super Falcons have long been the leaders in African women’s football. But there is also a sense that the rest of the continent may finally be catching up. Defeat to Morocco and South Africa at WAFCON – and then to Zambia in the third place play-off – suggests that Nigerian dominance has come to an end.

There is still a huge amount of talent in Randy Waldrum’s squad though. The main threat will be Barcelona’s Asisat Oshoala, who has just won the Champions League with her team. But there is more depth than ever before, with the midfield looking especially good. The usual issues surrounding unpaid bonuses plague the team though, so it will be interesting to see if Nigeria can get anywhere near bettering its 1999 run to the quarter-finals.

South Africa

Banyana Banyana worried Spain in their first ever World Cup game four years ago. It wasn’t until just over an hour had passed before the European giant drew level, and then scored two late goals to claim the points. Two defeats followed that opening match for South Africa – but a lot has happened in the last four years.

Winning the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations last year was a statement of intent and there is real talent up front, with Thembi Kgatiana, Hildah Magaia and Jermaine Seoposenwe all capable of troubling opposing defenses. A tough group draw may mean that we have to wait to see this team progress, however.


Massive investment in the women’s game in Morocco has seen the Lionesses of Atlas develop at an incredible rate over the last few years. Bringing in top coaches and using family connections to hand debuts to second-generation, European-born players has been a successful tactic.

All the hard work almost paid off handsomely at the 2022 WAFCON, before Morocco was beaten by South Africa in the final. But getting past Nigeria in the semi-finals was a huge achievement in itself and now there is much to be hopeful about. Getting out of the group will be difficult but this team will only get better before hosting the next WAFCON in 2024.


The Copper Queens are the other African debutants at this year’s World Cup and the 3-2 win over Germany – in Germany – in a pre-tournament friendly has gotten everyone associated with the Zambian team very excited indeed. This is still a work in progress, but it is a very talented squad.

Zambia was able to beat Nigeria to finish third at WAFCON and also won the Cosafa Women’s Championship for the first time last year. Two top players were missing from that triumph as well so there should be some excitement, at least, from Zambia at this tournament.

African teams will need to beat the likes of the US if they are to triumph

What Next for African Women’s Football?

Although this is a very exciting time for women’s football in general – and African football in particular – there are also the problems that face the men’s game on a regular basis. Unpaid bonuses and internal strife have long plagued football in Africa and impeded the chances of the best countries to do well at major international tournaments.

It would be a real shame if Nigeria was unable to progress because of off-field issues. The Super Falcons have been by far the best team in Africa for decades but there are others coming through – and that has to be an exciting development. If Nigeria and even just one of the other sides get through the opening phase, it should really be treated as a success.

Looking forward, it would be a major step for the women’s game in Africa if South Africa were named the host of the next Women’s World Cup in 2027. There is some stiff competition but we all remember how the 2006 men’s World Cup galvanized the continent when it was held in South Africa.

With a chance that there could be even more teams from Africa qualifying for that tournament, there would surely be further investment with the aim of showcasing the very best that the women’s game has to offer.

+ posts
- Advertisement -

More articles


- Advertisement -

Latest article

- Advertisement -