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‘New Women’s Afcon qualifying format does not protect West African superpowers’ – GFA Prez

Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Kurt Okraku has publicly expressed his disapproval of the new format for the qualifiers to next year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

Beginning with Morocco 2022, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) adopted a new format by zoning participation based on its six regional bodies – CECAFA, COSAFA, UNAF, UNIFFAC, WAFU A and WAFU B.

And this saw African heavyweights Ghana and Nigeria who happen to belong to Wafu B pitted against each other in the first round of the qualifiers.

Ghana won the second leg 1-0 in Accra but succumbed to Nigeria 2-1 on aggregate when they eventually faced off in October. The Super Falcons advance to play Cote d’Ivoire in the final round of the qualifiers, meaning the Women’s Afcon in Morocco will be deprived of two big nations from West Africa.

This new Caf format has been widely condemned by many and the leader of Ghana football who doubles as same for Wafu Zone-B has joined the chorus bemoaning it does not protect the powerhouses of women’s football in Africa.

“The Black Queens were super good against Nigeria in both games. Unfortunately, the scoreline did not reflect,” Okraku said in reaction to Ghana’s exit from the qualifying series.

He added: “But it is normal, especially when the new format of the competition does not protect the superpowers of football on the West Africa Coast.”

“And that has been one of my clarion calls at the Caf level. I want the format changed because Africa must be represented by the best clubs and countries.

“And if it is the case that Ghana has to play against Cameroon, Nigeria or Ivory Coast, it is not fair and I have spoken at varied levels of football in the world and it is something that I am going to push for until justice is done.”

The Women’s Afcon tournament will for the first time ever, be competed by 12 teams at Morocco 2022.

The summer tournament will double as the African qualifiers to the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup which will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The four countries that make the semifinals at Morocco 2022 will automatically qualify for the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup while two more teams will earn slots to chase World Cup qualification via the inter-confederation play-offs.


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