Challenges and Successes in Africa
According to FIFA’S latest Big Count survey, in Africa only 2.9 percent of its registered players are female, the lowest of any confederation and well below the global average of 9.8 percent. The sport is taking some beginning steps in countries like Rwanda, Liberia, and Namibia, but is well established in larger countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa. As in the Middle East, soccer can collide with traditional views of the role of women, but there are unique aspects as well. In some countries females can play when they’re younger, but then they are urged to give up the game when they marry. Soccer, particularly at the national team level, has been distracted by money, gender identity, and recruiting foreigners. In Africa, some “promoters” of the sport also get involved for nefarious reasons.
Finding money for women’s soccer in Africa always seems to be a Broadway theater production, with various characters, intrigue, and generally unhappy conclusions. Resources are spread thin for basic services, and wars and natural disasters (like famines and floods) have further depleted individual and governmental funding on a continent striving to develop economically. Throughout Africa, most sport development efforts are government supported, unlike other regions where mass supported social clubs or private ventures