When CAF announced the introduction of the African Women’s Champions League, it was ecstasy, with comments of triumph and prosperity pouring from a number of women football stakeholders for women football’s latest milestone.
The competition is set to hold its inaugural edition starting with the 2020/21 season.
Amidst that, the wait was then shifted to the format which was announced last week on Thursday following a CAF Executive Meeting which was held via video conference.
The format will accommodate eight teams at the finals which will be divide in two groups. Progress to the finals will be achieved via qualification from the six zones of CAF, with an additional team picked from the wild card to join the hosts.
Via its website, CAF further confirmed that the zone with the hosts will produce two teams for the inaugural tournament, and back to one for the coming editions.
Football256’s Peace Dianne Bagala followed various coaches who shared their thoughts about the format.
The Nigeria Falconets head coach who also doubles as Nasarawa Amazons coach Christopher Ndanjuma thinks it’s the way to go for modern women football.
“Greatly in all aspects, but most women teams in Africa are buoyant enough for travel expenses unlike their male counterparts. The game is rapidly developing and soon we will have major sponsorships to cater for such.”
Ali Zzinda who coaches at FUFA Women Super League side She Corporates thinks the same;
“The format will only favour countries or regions with the most organized leagues in terms of preparation and competition,” he says.
Not contrary to the above, Uganda U20 women national team coach Oliver Mbekeka adds; “It’s really going to be a challenge because African club teams are not sponsored even national teams.”
“Teams can’t travel to honour a friendly game, unless, CAF sponsors the first editions, it will be so difficult for the teams to meet the welfare requirements needed for such a tournament.”
Meanwhile, Tanzania women national team coach Bakary Shime is keeping an open mind on the format of the tournament given it is the inaugural edition of the tournament. “It being the first time, let’s see,” the soft-spoken gaffer said.
The CAF Women Champions League will be the first women inter-club competitive tournament on the continent, and hopefully, it will inspire the development of women football on the continent and give birth to the CAF Women Confederation Cup.