The 2023 Women’s World Cup is set to make history with thirty-two teams participating for the first time in its 32-year history. Among the participating countries, Africa will be sending four representatives for the first time, including Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco and Zambia.
Nigeria’s Super Falcons are the most successful team in the history of African women’s football, having won the African Cup of Nations 11 times and they have the most appearances in the World Cup among African countries. They are currently ranked first in Africa and 40th in the world. The team boasts experienced players like Onome Ebi and Asisat Oshoala, who is one of the best players in the world today. However, their disappointing fourth-place finish in the last WAFCON suggests that they will need to work hard to retain their reputation in women’s football.
South Africa’s Banyana Banyana is a team to watch out for as they are gradually building their popularity as a new powerhouse in African football. They claimed their first trophy on the continent in the last WAFCON and are currently ranked 54th in the world. They finished last in their group in their debut appearance four years ago, but with top scorer Magaia and best goalkeeper Andile Dlamini in their squad, they will be hoping to do better this time around.
Morocco’s Lionesses of Atlas impressed in the last WAFCON on their home soil, making it to the final before losing to South Africa. They are currently ranked 72nd in the world and 7th on the continent. The country’s AS FAR football club is the current champion of the CAF Women’s Champions League and boasts several of its players in the Morocco squad for the World Cup. Ghizlane Chebbak, the best player in the WAFCON, is a player in their squad to look out for in the World Cup.
Zambia’s Copper Queens, nicknamed as such, are making their debut at the 2023 World Cup. They first qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Japan before securing their ticket to the World Cup with an impressive third-place finish in WAFCON. They are currently ranked 9th in Africa and 77th in overall world rankings. Their skipper, Barbra Banda, who plays in the Chinese League, is a young player to watch out for at the event.
In conclusion, the inclusion of four African representatives at the 2023 Women’s World Cup is a significant milestone for women’s football on the continent. The participating countries, Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco and Zambia, have talented players who will be eager to make an impact at the event. Fans of women’s football can look forward to an exciting tournament with plenty of surprises in store.