The CECAFA zonal qualifier for the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League enters the semi final stage today in Nairobi, Kenya.
Coaches of the eight teams that qualified to represent their respective countries have come out to praise the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) under President Patrice Motsepe for introducing this tournament, and CECAFA for organizing the qualifier.
Fred Musiime, the Lady Doves coach says he is very happy that finally CAF has though of having this tournament. “This is a very good platform for the teams in Africa to keep improving by playing in such a tournament,” says Musiime.
The PVP FC (Burundi) coach Jumaine Niyonkuru says having this competition is going to bring more competition in most of the Women Leagues in Africa. “This is a very good step by CAF to introduce this tournament because it will be another place where scouts can also scout out players,” added Niyonkuru.
Although his team did not manage to pick a single win in the tournament, coach of Djibouti’s FAD FC, Darar Abdillahi Darar thinks with many more tournaments for women footballers in Africa like the Champions League, the standards of women football will keep improving. “Players will always get better if they have more exposure and I think it was great idea for CAF to introduce this tournament,” says Darar.
Vihiga Queens FC coach Charles Okere Okoth also made it clear that this tournament was long overdue. “Women football has been lacking a platform like this for the teams in the continent to compete just like the men. I thank CAF for finally making this happen,” added Okoth.
For Heye Birhanu Gizaw whose Commercial Bank of Ethiopia FC are the only team that has kept a 100% winning record in the group stage, he has thanked CECAFA and Kenya in particular for oragnising this tournament, but also praised CAF for finally introducing this event. “With this Champions League now in place, we shall now see many teams getting more competitive because they will be playing for silverware at continental level and this gives another platform,” he added.
The other three coaches of Simba Queens FC (Tanzania), Yei Joints Stars (South Sudan) and New Generations FC (Zanzibar) also made it clear that having this Women’s Champions League tournament is very good news and CAF must be applauded.