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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Twiga Stars require much more support

5th February 2012

Last weekend, the national women’s football team, Twiga Stars defeated Namibia 5-2 on aggregate to advance to the next round of the African Women’s Championship qualifiers.

The team achieved this feat in spite of the many challenges facing women’s football in the country today.

One of these problems is the lack of sponsorship, which interestingly does not affect their male counterparts, the Taifa Stars, who are rarely short of funds.

Sadly, insufficient funds is a vexing issue that has troubled the Twiga Stars for the past few years.

And unquestionably, this has only served to demoralize the team, which should make us even prouder of their achievements.

Another huge challenge confronting women’s football is the regrettable fact that there are no structures in place to support the game across the country.

For instance, despite a lot of talk about the possibility of setting up a national women’s football league, we have seen scarcely any action on this front.

In addition, youth development programs which are flourishing in giants of African women’s football such as Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa, simply do not exist in our country.

Indeed, all these negative factors mean that women’s football cannot take root in the country and grow to become even more successful on the continental stage.

In light of all this, the fine achievements of the Twiga Stars to date need to be infinitely more appreciated as I alluded to earlier in this discussion.

Many would be extremely hard-pressed to name a country either in men’s or women’s football, which has had to grapple with the serious problems affecting the Twiga Stars, and yet still achieve success.

But so far, all fair and honest wananchi would agree that we have failed them and in spite of our neglect, they have still summoned up enough strength and will to become one of our finest sporting ambassadors.

So, bluntly put, they deserve much more support as they have proved that there is a huge wealth of untapped talent in our country.

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