WAFCON: CAF Technical Group Pushes For 16 Teams In Next Edition

The members of CAF’s Technical Study Group (TSG) have suggested that the number of participating teams should be increased from twelve to sixteen in the next edition.
The members of the TSG pointed to the increase of teams in this year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations from eight to 12 as the key to the considerable increase in the level and standard of the tournament.

TSG members Clémentine Touré from Côte d’Ivoire, Mercy Tagoe from Ghana, and Jacqui Shipanga from Namibia addressed the media at a press conference on Tuesday at the Moulay Abdellah Sports Complex to give their impressions of what has been a very exciting tournament to date.

All three were unequivocal that WAFCON 2022 has been the best edition of the tournament to date at an organizational level, but also in terms of the level of the quality of football played.
Clémentine Tagoe said CAF’s decision to increase the number of participating teams from eight to 12 “made it possible to raise the level of competition”.

Tagoe added that the TSG has now been made that in the next editions of WAFCON the number of teams should be further increased to 16 teams participating in the competition.

“We have seen the level of this edition. The level will be even higher if we have more nations. We are 54 federations in Africa, so it would be wise to have more selections at WAFCON,” said Tagoe.
Jacqui Shipanga praised the level of commitment from all participating countries and highlighted the Morocco-Nigeria semifinal as her standout match of the competition so far.
Shipanga also noted that the teams who played as strong units were the ones who progressed furthest in the competition.

“Football is above all a collective game. We can mention teams such as Morocco, Zambia, and South Africa, who played well with strong combinations and a collective game plan.

You also have to work, plan and invest. When we see what Morocco has invested in the development of women’s football, we now understand the results they have achieved in this competition,” said Shipanga.

The TSG also explained their selection criteria for the “Woman of the match” awards handed out at each of the matches played in this WAFCON.
They said several criteria come into play. There are the technical and tactical qualities, but also the attitude of the player during the match, the impact she has on her squad, and also her sense of sportsmanship and fair play.
The TSG were happy with the level of football played by the four countries who have already for the FIFA Women’s World Cup to date and stressed the importance of them preparing well if they were to make an impact at the global showpiece.

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