Women Football needs Sponsorship: Okon

22 Oct 2014 08:30am
WINDHOEK, 22 OCT (NAMPA) – Nigeria’s senior women’s football team coach Edwin Okon said women’s football will be much bigger if it gets the sponsorships it deserves.
“Women footballers can do whatever their male counterparts are doing at the moment. I believe if they get better sponsors - just like in the men’s game - they might even deliver better than the men”, he said at his team’s media conference at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Tuesday.
Speaking ahead of their clash against South Africa on Wednesday, Okon said “it’s only a lack of sponsorships which is hampering women’s football not to grow to the same level as the men’s game”.
His comments come after International Federation of Football Associations’ (FIFA) Women’s Football Instructor and Namibia’s Brave Gladiators’ head coach Jacqueline Shipanga had called for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to increase the number of teams at the finals tournament of the championship, which currently stands at eight.
Shipanga said last Friday after her team was knocked out of the 2014 tn Mobile CAF Women’s Championship with a 0-2 loss to tournament favourites Nigeria that time has come where stronger teams are needed in women’s football to give a challenge to the existing dominant ones in African women’s football.
“We don’t want a situation where we cannot have Namibia or Zambia qualifying to the finals’ tournament.
We need strong teams from the continent to help the likes of Cameroon and Nigeria - who frequently represent Africa at the World Cup - to be better- prepared and be real competitors there.
We have to realize that the game of women’s football is now bigger and better, and we need stronger teams to challenge the top teams for World Cup positions”, stated Shipanga.
Meanwhile, Nigeria will play the runners-up from Group B - which is South Africa - in the first semi-final at the Sam Nujoma stadium on Wednesday at 17h00, while Cameroon will play Ivory Coast at the same venue at 20h00.
The top three sides from this tournament will represent Africa at the 2015 International Federation of Football Associations’ (FIFA) Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Nigeria are the most-decorated African team, having won the tournament six times.
They have represented the continent on the international stage six times.