African Teams ‘a cause for concern’, Shipanga

 African Teams ‘a cause for concern’, Shipanga

The national women’s football team coach, Jaqueline Shipanga, says African countries will always retain an important presence at the Women’s World Cup, but the fact that Nigeria and Ghana did not make it to the next stage at the U20 World Cup in Papua New Guinea allegedly shows the challenges African countries are facing.

Coach Shipanga is currently at the U20 Women's World Cup as a member of the Technical Study Group.

The group consists of six members from different countries, namely the Netherlands, England, Australia, Mexico, Spain and Namibia.

Their responsibility is not only to represent a key insight into the main tactical and technical aspects of the tournament to market it, but also to provide educational tools for all 211 member associations.

The team undertakes a wide range of tasks, but the fundamental priorities are to continue the development of the world's best loved sport.

Shipanga greatly enjoys the fact that FIFA unites the world. She also believes that for a country, such as Papua New Guinea, to host the U20-Women‘s World Cup is enormous and will in return boost the country’s tourism and business industry.

Stadiums there have already been built with flood lights under Fifa and more than 800 volunteers have received training in their area of specialisation.

As for the participation of African countries, Shipanga stressed that their teams are struggling at these competitions because member associations do not put in enough effort to prepare the teams as stronger competitors.

The national coach explained that Nigeria and Ghana can only play two opponents, if they are lucky and there are no withdrawals.

Shipanga added that there are not enough competitions in Africa at National level, such as Youth leagues, Competitive National leagues and Cup competitions.

African countries, according to Shipanga, are also failing to participate in international friendlies as preperation for both the players and the technical team on how to deal and cope in a tournament of this magnitude.

She explained that member associations in Africa are just to happy to qualify but that much of the motivation is missing thereafter.

Countries, such as Japan, are starting to put more efforts into grassroot level sports education and women football development though the assistance of FIFA’s FAP and various other FIFA Educational programmes. She, however, highlighted that this is not the case with Africa.

Shipanga said it is about time CAF and Member Associations take responsibility to develop the women‘s game before Africa falls behind.

Africa has not yet hosted a youth nor Women’s World Cup. However, according to Shipanga, Africa takes pride in the fact that instrumental women, such as Lydia Nsekera (President of Burundi Football Assocition)are recognised by FIFA and serve on the FIFA Executive Committee.

Shipanga believes there is potential in Africa and leaders should embrace the development of women’s football since the standard of opponents are increasing.

Shipanga will also have a crucial say in the 2016 Glo-Confederation of African Football (CAF) awards as a member of the third Electoral College in the newly expanded network of voting with the constitution of the electoral colleges.

The Glo-CAF 2016 awards Gala will be held on Thursday, 05 January 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria.