Zimbabwe: Zim to Name Inaugural Women's Cl Representative

ZIFA have requested the Women's Soccer League to provide the club to represent the country in the inaugural women's CAF Champions League whose finals will be hosted by Morocco later this year.

Zimbabwe are set to be part of the event which begins next month when the country's representatives take part in a qualifying tournament organised by COSAFA.

The national football mother-body have until April 15 to short-list the participant.

Winners of the national league are supposed to represent the country in the new inter-club tournament but no competitive football was played in Zimbabwe last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a result, ZIFA have submitted correspondence to the Zimbabwe Women's Soccer League, requesting the name of the club which will represent the country in the continental football safari. Black Rhinos Queens were the last team to win the league in 2019. But the official position is expected by April 15 when the deadline for associations to submit the contestants lapse.

Last year, the Zimbabwe Women's Soccer League boss Barbra Chikosi indicated that they will have to pick the 2019 winner. Chikosi also added that the club which will represent the country will have to be assisted financially.

The army side, Black Rhinos Queens, have proven that they are a force to reckon with in women's football and have the capacity to play in the Champions League. However, the decision is yet to be made.

"We will assist the club, which will represent the country in the Champions League, with some of the money which came from FIFA.

"They will be representing our league and clubs and they need our support," Chikosi said.

Women's football received US$500 000 as part of the Covid-19 relief package, and part of the money has already been disbursed to the clubs to cushion them against the effects of the prolonged lockdown.

The participating clubs will first battle it out in their zones with the Zimbabwean representative and other southern region teams scheduled to compete under the COSAFA bloc next month. COSAFA have since put the tournament on their calendar.

A total of seven teams will then qualify for the final tournament which will be held in Morocco in November.

On Thursday, Royal Moroccan Football Federation announced that they are the hosts for the new tournament.

They beat South Africa and other countries that had expressed interest to host the maiden tournament. CAF opened the hosting bid last month and the deadline was March 31, with the Executive Committee expected to announce the winner after. Moroccan FA president Faouzi Lakjaa announced the new development in Rabat on Wednesday.

"Morocco, who were earlier named the host of the expanded 12-nation 2022 Africa Women's Cup of Nations in January, has now won the hosting rights for the first-ever women's club championship on the continent.

"All those interested in Moroccan football to pay attention to women's football and smaller groups, and to open the way for young players to participate with their clubs."

Morocco are also going to host the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations.

The North Africans have been making strides in developing women's game and last year their federation unveiled a four-year development plan built on sporting development, financial investment and technical growth.

They are aiming to have 1 000 licensed female coaches and 90 000 active female footballers by 2024. Zimbabwe have been largely stagnant, in comparison.

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