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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Women`s football needs more support

8th January 2012

After dropping out of the headlines for some time, women’s football is once again in the spotlight as the national women’s football team, the Twiga Stars intensify their preparations for a key African Women’s Championship qualifier against Namibia.

Considering that the first leg will be played in Windhoek, Namibia on 14th January, Twiga Stars do not have much time to prepare themselves for the vital task at hand.

Indeed, it could be argued that the preparations of the team have been undermined by the fact that as of yet, no friendly encounters have been organized to test the team ahead of the all-important clash.

It is quite doubtful that the governing body for local football, the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), only knew recently that Twiga Stars would be facing Namibia early this year.

This is because the governing body for African football, the Confederation of African football (CAF) usually notifies its member countries of such qualifiers well in advance.

But beyond this particular hurdle for our heroines to overcome, it is quite clear that infinitely greater support needs to be given to local women’s football if it is to realize its full potential.

And it may even be possible that the TFF and other football stakeholders are already aware of this as a seminar on women’s football organized late last year demonstrated.

However, while this move is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, it has now reached a point where our long-suffering female football players need expeditious action and not more talk.

Indeed, this means setting up a national women’s league, and engaging in youth development, before more precious time is lost.

It is still awe-inspiring to think that Twiga Stars represented the country at the 2010 African Women’s Championship, having received little support from all quarters of the local football fraternity.

But against all odds, they achieved their goal that year and it is only fitting that we support their efforts to transform our country into a bona fide unstoppable force in women’s football.

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