Proper structure for women soccer needed

14Nov 2016
The Guardian
Proper structure for women soccer needed

EFFORTS to develop women soccer in Tanzania has gathered pace as the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) has established the Mainland women premier league.

The event, which kicked off in Dodoma on November 1, has attracted 12 outfits which have been put into groups A and B.

The first phase of the event, as disclosed by TFF, will take place for three weeks and will come to a close on November 20. The second phase has been slated to start on January 4 next year and end on February 1.

We feel this is an important stage to have been reached in seeing to it that the country turns into a feared force in women soccer at the international level in future.

We congratulate TFF for establishing the league and we insist on the need for better supervision in a bid to improve competitiveness in the event.

Efforts should also be done to ensure regional football associations join forces with the sport’s enthusiasts in their respective areas to step up promotion of women soccer in each of the regions.

Promotion of the sport among women at the regional level stands to encourage increasing participation of women in the game, a move that will in turn play a crucial part in raising the standard of the women game.

It should be noted that the establishment of the Mainland women premier league will mean little, if participating regions do not have well organised women soccer leagues in their respective areas.

The presence of well-organised women soccer leagues at the regional level stands to produce strong outfits which will, in turn, improve the level of competition in the premier league.

There is, therefore, a need for soccer stakeholders to invest in women soccer leagues in different regions across the country so the leagues can produce players that will have what it takes to excel in the national teams.

It is obvious the establishment of the Mainland women premier soccer league geared towards giving TFF a wider pool of players that the federation can select for both senior and junior women teams.

Poor showing by the senior national women soccer team in the women’s African Nations Cup qualifiers in the past few years pointed to the absence of domestic women soccer competitions which could have given TFF more options when it comes to selecting talented players that could have helped the team excel in the event.

TFF had, until recently, been relying much on Dar es Salaam, as far as selection of players for the national women soccer teams, given the region has been organising a women soccer league.

Soccer stakeholders should, moreover, look into offering financial support for soccer competitions for girls in schools to get players that will feature for different clubs in regional women soccer leagues.

Efforts by one of the mobile phone companies to promote women soccer by hosting a competition at both regional and national levels are worth of praise and soccer enthusiasts should take a leaf from the firm’s book and step up promotion of women soccer.

It should be pointed out that there will not be continuity in promotion of women soccer at the domestic level, if schools will not be duly involved in the programme.