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‘Historic’ WAFCON kicks off in Morocco - Nigeria favourites

‘Historic’ African Cup of Nations for Women kicks off in Morocco
2 min read
03 July, 2022
The tournament features a 150% prize money increase for women, according to the Confederation of African Football.
Female Moroccan referee Bouchra Karboubi will be refereeing alongside new VAR technology [Getty]

The African Cup of Nations for Women kicked off in Morocco on Saturday, as the north African kingdom hosted the football competition for the first time in its history. 

It is the first edition of the competition to feature 12 teams - including Tunisia and Morocco, the only Arabic-speaking teams in the competition. 

In an unprecedented move for women’s international football, the tournament also uses video-assisted refereeing (VAR) to adjudicate on the games. 

The tournament this year also carries a 150% increase in prize money for the victors, according to Confederation for African Football (CAF) president Dr Patrice Motsepe.

“The tournament is going to be pioneer a new future for women’s football in Africa” said an announcement by CAF in the lead up to the tournament. 

“We have bought together the best referees on the continent, and the latest technology we have available,” it continued. 

The last time the women’s Cup of Nations was held in 2018 in Ghana, Nigeria claimed a 9th title by defeating South Africa on penalties. 

This year, Nigeria’s ‘super falcons’ start the competition as favourites as they continue to set the gold standard for African women’s football teams. 

Morocco got off to a strong start, brushing aside tournament underdogs Burkina Faso with a comfortable 1-0 victory. 

Tunisia, who find themselves in a group with strong contenders Cameroon, kick off against Togo at 21:00 local time this evening. 

Women's football has made huge strides in the MENA region recently, with Jordan winning the 2021 Arab Women's Cup.