Score! Morocco to host 2022 Women’s Nations Cup
For the first time in its history, Morocco will host the Africa Women Cup of Nations. The North African country said it was thrilled at the opportunity.
JOHANNESBURG – It’s official! The biggest women's football tournament on the continent will be staged in Morocco in 2022.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) confirmed the news on Tuesday.
Morocco said that it was thrilled to be named as the hosts of the Nations Cup.
Omar Khyari, advisor to the president of the Royal Morocco Football Federation (FRMF) Fouzi Lekjaa, said they would provide a friendly platform for the showpiece.
“We are very happy and honoured to host the African Women's Cup in Morocco. First-class infrastructure will be available for this competition with the aim of having a high-quality soccer showpiece.
The tournament, which has been held consistently every year since 1998, was cancelled last year because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Before the cancellation, CAF made a positive step with the expansion of the African Women’s Cup of Nations from eight to 12 teams, which was the first change to the format after 11 editions.
The Democratic Republic of Congo was originally slated to be the host but has since withdrawn.
South Africa passed up the opportunity to replace the DRC as emergency host, citing their active bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
For Morocco, this will be the first time to host the biennial tournament since its inception.
"We want this event to be a great celebration of African football. The hosting of this event comes at the right time for the FRMF, which is taking significant steps towards the development of women's football in Morocco," Khyari added.
The opportunity to host the tournament comes at a time when Morocco is making commendable strides to revamp women football at all levels.
The FRMF invested $6 million to develop and grow women’s football in Morocco for the next four years with the core target being to have at least 80,000 players and over 1,000 coaches.
Morocco are also set to host the rescheduled Under-17 Nations Cup between 13-31 March this year.
The last time Morocco appeared at the event, they suffered three defeats in the group stage, conceding 13 goals and managed to score a goal in South Africa, where Nigeria won its second title.