The rise of African women in global


THE value of African women footballers is being recognised not only on the field and at award ceremonies but also on world transfer market rankings as they make waves in the multi-million dollar market. The latest data from world football governing body FIFA shows a number of African counties competing with the top European countries in this key footballing index.

While data from clubs administered by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is largely skewed towards the shipping out of top talent to other clubs within the continent, three African countries outdid themselves to feature in the global transfer table.

Morocco led Africa with more female star footballer sign-ups than any other African country, to sit on the global table with UEFA heavyweight clubs.

“For the first time ever, a CAF member association made the top ten, with Morocco in eighth place,” according to FIFA Global Transfer Report 2021.

With the highest number of elite players sourced from the continent, Morocco (54), rivalled counterparts in UEFA like Germany (57), England (56) that were ranked sixth and seventh positions respectively in the global top ten incoming transfers for 2021.

Sweden was at the top of the list of associations with the most incoming transfers in the year with 88 transfers, followed by Spain and the USA, with 87 each.

Within CAF, there were a total of 140 outgoing transfers with 101 incoming transfers.

Tanzania (16), Nigeria (6) and Egypt (5) came second, third and fourth positions respectively in the number of incoming transfers.

“Although numbers are significantly smaller and the number of transfers and fees are considerably lower in comparison to the equivalent figures in men’s professional football, there is still a clear upwards trend in the women’s game, even during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the report.

Nigeria and Tanzania women football clubs also helped place Africa on the global map.

Nigeria ranked fourth among countries whose players featured in the top ten player nationalities with 41 soccer stars transfers across the world, behind American (234), Brazilian (69) and British (48) nationals.

The West African country also topped the list of African countries that released the most female soccer players (28) to clubs on the continent – followed by Ivory Coast (15).

Ghana and Cameroon tied for third position, with 14 outgoing players highlighting the depth of woman player talent on the continent.

Tanzania’s Tiger Queens was the only African club in the world’s top ten by the number of incoming transfers, after signing up 10 international players last year.

Tiger Queens’ line-up features players from Zambia, Kenya, Congo, Burundi and Rwanda.

Professional women football transfer fees rose by 72.8 percent in 2021, highlighting the prospects for the continent’s nascent female soccer stars.

/bird story agency

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