How Omagbemi muted idea of Women’s CAF Champions League
United States-based former Super Falcons coach, Florence Omagbemi has commended the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for buying her idea of a Women’s Champions League. The competition is scheduled to kick off in 2021.
CAF had on Tuesday cancelled the 2020 edition of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, and rolled out its plans towards boosting the women’s game to meet the standard seen in other parts of the world.
Omagbemi, who captained the Super Falcons for 14 years, led the team’s technical crew to Cameroun 2016 edition of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, which Nigeria won by beating the host in an epic final.
Though her contract with the Super Falcons was not renewed by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after the Nations Cup in Cameroun, Omagbemi has been in the forefront of the campaign for CAF to introduce the Women’s Champions League in Africa.
At the first ever CAF women’s football strategy taskforce, which took place in Egypt between November 12 and 14, 2019, Omagbemi was among those contacted to make contributions on how to further strengthen women football in Africa.
Although she couldn’t attend the event due to engagement in other football events in her place of work in U.S., Omagbemi sent her contributions to CAF, which centered on some key areas and measures that would lead to the growth of women’s football in the continent. She dwelled on administrative issues, referee- technical, competitions (coaches and players) as well as promotion of the game.
Specifically, Omagbemi used the occasion to urge CAF to come up with a guided policy to member associations on management of teams representing Africa and funds from CAF allocated to them after major events (accountability).
Perhaps, the greatest idea Omagbemi sold to CAF at 2019 women’s football strategy taskforce was counseling the African football body to introduce the female version of the CAF Champions League so that the winners of each league will have a competition to fall back on at the end of every season since the Nations Cup, African Games and the WAFU tournaments were not enough to engage the women and get them ready for FIFA Women’s World Cup every four years.
As CAF looks forward to launch the Women’s Champions League in 2021, Omagbemi says “it’s a dream come true” for women football in the continent.
“I am really excited that CAF bought the idea,” Omagbemi told The Guardian in a telephone chat yesterday. “I am sure the introduction of a CAF Champions League will accelerate the growth of women football in Africa.
Some Nigerian clubs like Rivers Angels, Delta Queens, Pelican Stars, Nasarawa Amazons and Bayelsa Queens can now look forward to a continental challenge at the end of the year. The same thing goes to their counterparts in Ghana, Cameroun, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire. It will also boost their financial status and strengthen the players for bigger challenges,” Omagbemi stated.