The last Women’s AFCON was played in 2018 in Ghana that saw Nigeria claiming a record-extending 11th title
* We are aware of the intense competition that is going to play out there in Morocco. We have no illusions
* Women’s football has continued to grow in a lot of other African nations, faster than anyone can imagine
Malawian fans of women football are in for a treat as DStv and GOtv are set to beam live on SuperSport the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Morocco finals from July 2-23.
In encouraging viewers to subscribe or upgrade in order join in on the African women’s jamboree through www.dstv.com and www.gotvafrica.com, MultiChoice also entices those on the move, to stream the matches on the DStv App.
This will be the 14th edition of the Women’s AFCON and the first to feature 12 teams — which has been split into three groups of:
Group A: Morocco, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Uganda;
Group B: Cameroon, Zambia, Tunisia, Togo; and
Group C: Nigeria, South Africa, Burundi, Botswana.
The last Women’s AFCON was played in 2018 in Ghana and saw Nigeria claim a record-extending 11th title after defeating South Africa on penalties in the final.
The scheduled 2020 Women’s AFCON was cancelled due to the CoVID-19 pandemic.
According to analysts, Nigeria’s Super Falcons start as the favourites to continue their dominance of women’s football in Africa, with coach Randy Waldrum leading a star-studded team which is determined to claim WAFCON glory once again.
Nigeria captain Onome Ebi is quoted as saying: “We are aware of the intense competition that is going to play out there in Morocco. We have no illusions. Women’s football has continued to grow in a lot of other African nations, faster than anyone can imagine.
“So, there will be nothing like underrating any team. All the teams will be upbeat about their chances and winning tickets to the World Cup. On our part, as defending champions, we know our strengths. We know what we have to bring to the pitch to conquer.”
The main threat to Nigeria’s ambitions will come from South Africa and Cameroon — both appearing at their 13th Women AFCON tournaments — while the likes of hosts Morocco, Zambia and Senegal will be dark horses.
The expanded tournament format also allows for no less than four debutantes — with Botswana, Burkina Faso, Togo and Burundi making their maiden appearances.
The group phase of this year’s Women AFCON will be played from July 2-10 with the top two teams from each group, as well as the two highest-ranked third-placed teams advancing into the quarterfinals through the final on July 23.
According to Confederation of African Football (CAF), this year’s WAFCON edition serves as a qualification tournament for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The four semifinalists secure automatic qualification to the global tournament, while the four losing quarterfinalists will play two separate playoffs in a ‘Repechage’ round, with the two winners of those matches advancing to the inter-confederation playoffs — a mini tournament staged in Australia and New Zealand early next year which will determine the final qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup.