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Braced for continental challenge

By People Reporter
Tuesday, June 30th, 2020
Vihiga Queens when they were crowned league winners in 2018. INSET: FKF vice president Dorris Petra. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

Vincent Voiyo

Kenya will be waiting for the outcome with bated breath as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee meets today to deliberate on various issues including establishment of continental Women Champions League competition.

If adopted, the premier competition will mirror the current men’s club format in all African countries and subsequently propel women football to high heights.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) deputy president Doris Petra expressed optimism that the meeting will give a nod to the establishment of the league, adding that Kenya is ready to take part in should it be enacted.

“It is a welcome move because for a very long time, ladies competitions have not been treated equally to men’s.

We are extremely happy for CAF for the impending venture. We have had talks about the same competition with other regional bodies like COSAFA and CECAFA going forward,” Petra told People Daily.

In his remarks, Vihiga Queens head coach Alex Alumira says the Kenya Women Premier League Champions are eager to give a good show should they get a chance and noted that the continental stage will help women football attain higher levels.

“It is something that we have been waiting for, for many years. It is a good thing and it will spearhead the growth of women football not only in Kenya but other African countries as well,” he said.

Alumira reckoned that this will be a grand chance for Kenyan players to showcase what is up their sleeves in big-time action.

“When Kenya plays in the Champions league it will be a good opportunity for the country’s players to showcase their talents globally through live broadcast.

It will also present them with a chance to be seen by scouts all over the world,” Alumira remarked.

Although the agenda on CAF paper is well received by member countries, the question of financing might pose a big challenge to federations and club officials considering that some men’s club have had a tall order in securing air tickets to honor their away games.

The tactician singled out lack of financial muscle as a bottle-neck to participate in the matches.

“Financial problems are real among Kenyan teams. If we can have difficulties travelling from Vihiga to Mombasa what about when travelling to Cameroon or Ghana and return to Kenya?,” he posed.

However, Petra says there is a proposal for CAF to fully fund the inaugural tourney.

“If a team wins the local league then it must have the money just like Gor Mahia has been doing while representing Kenya in Africa inter-clubs competitions, but let’s  wait to see what CAF will come up with because one of the proposals in the previous meeting was for the continental body  to fund the competition,” said Petra.