20 November 2012

Namibia: Development Is Key - Muinjo

Namibian football supremo John Muinjo believes women's football is on the right track as the 2014 Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women's Championship draws closer.

Serving on the CAF Women's Football Tournaments Organizing Committee, Muinjo just returned from Equatorial Guinea where he officiated at the 8th edition of the Women's Africa Championships, which saw the host nation beat South Africa in the final. Muinjo says the improved performance of the teams lit up the tournament.

"Surely, there is huge improvement in the women's game and the standard has gone up significantly over the years which is good to see. I was extremely impressed by Ethiopia and Ivory Coast, the only nations from the eight participants being coached by a female coach. These two teams seem to have been working hard on young players and the future looks bright."

Muinjo added that there are still loose ends that need to be tied up. "There are hampering factors when it comes to support from governments, football associations, sponsors and traditional beliefs and norms compared to the men's game and these disturbing factors do not augur well for sustainable development."

"Teams want to win at all cost and as such you will find good to excellent performances during the tournaments in the absence of a proper league structure in a particular country, where resources are being utilised rather to prepare the national team for this event at the expense of tangible development of the grassroots girl child."

Muinjo said he was not impressed with the logistical arrangements of the Local Organising Committee (LOC). "I must confess that the organisation from the LOC was rather pathetic in terms of adherence to set regulations with regard to providing transport to visiting teams coupled with inadequate preparation towards the hosting of the event. There were visa problems when the CAF delegation entered the country. Although this might have been resolved at the end, it still left a bad taste in the mouth generally."

The Namibia Football Association (NFA) president reckons the experience they had gained through Jacqui Shipanga, a member of the CAF Women's Championship 2012 Technical Study Committee, will come in handy as Namibia looks to host the 2014 Africa Women's Championship.

"I believe with my experience at that level and the lessons learnt will stand us in good stead to streamline and strive to deliver a very good tournament in 2014, God willing. There is also a lot to be done in terms of the facilities with regard to stadiums since we will be having double headers throughout the event."

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