By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
As far as Women’s football is concerned in Africa, the name of Mauritania is a rare occurrence. Like Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and South Africa, just to mention a few where Women’s Football league thrives, Mauritania is putting down its foot on the ground in women’s football with recent developments spare headed by Oumou Kane, Director of the women’s football department at the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, FFRIM and Match Commissioner at the African Football Confederation, CAF.
The Mauritania Women’s National Championship which is in it’s the fourth year is presently serving as the breeding ground for the women’s national team from U-15 to the senior level. Oumou Kane in a recent interview with Africa Foot United spoke on the number of clubs in the league.
“We are 15. This is our fourth year of the national championship and it is thanks to the championship that we have established our national women’s teams. We have three U15 U17 categories that play 7-a-side football and the seniors play 11-a-side. We started little by little because we didn’t want to shake things up. Most of our teams are in schools. The clubs did not believe in women’s football.
“Women’s football is at a standstill given the current situation we are living in due to CoronaVirus pandemic. We were on our fourth day of the national championship with the different categories. But before that, we were in Tunisia in February where our national team participated in the UNAF tournament, North African football union tournament involving five countries.
Kane said that forming the national women’s team and the league was filled with different obstacles that she had to succumb to be able to have a viable women’s league in Mauritania.
“The obstacles are the weight of tradition and the environment, being a woman, forced marriage, and dropping out of school or even parents. There are also religious leaders who oppose the clothing style.
Since other African countries are closing the gap on the most successful Women’s national team in Africa, Nigeria, it won’t be long before Mauritania will be able to follow their male counterparts that qualified for their maiden African Cup of Nations, AFCON last year.
Mauritania U-17 women’s side participated at the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers and successfully failed to make it to the next round. Qualifying for the next African Women’s Cup of Nations, AWCON will be a dream come true for Kane and Mauritania.
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