Rocky is the road that leads to female football leagues in Africa. Just like in every other continent, football is one of the most challenging sports for females. This is partly due to its physically engaging nature and partly from the perception of the audience. For a long time, people believed football was a masculine sport. Therefore, female participation was frowned at.
In most African countries, female football was just a mere exercise until the late 1970s. That was when the respective national football federations began to establish female football leagues across Africa. The next challenge that followed was getting supporters, sponsorship, and development facilities. This persisted until the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Since the dawn of the new century, a lot has changed. The female football leagues began to attract sponsorship deals for both the leagues and respective clubs. The development trend has remained on an upward trajectory ever since. Just like the male football leagues, there are various standard female football leagues across the continent. However, some outperform the others in all indices. That said, we will bring you the list of our top 5 female football leagues in Africa.
5. Ethiopian Women’s Premier League
Ethiopian women’s premier league is a top tier female football league in Ethiopia and Africa. The football league has been in existence since 2012 (2005 E.C). Since the league is fairly new, its inclusion on this list might raise eyebrows. However, there are myriads of reasons that make it stand out.
In terms of players’ warfare, Ethiopia women’s premier league is considered one of the highest paying football leagues in African. Players earn something near $500 monthly. The football league has also been experiencing a significant reduction in the number of goals per match. Hence, it is becoming more competitive than when it first started. Dedebit and Adama city football club remain the top performing clubs in the league in the past six years. Dedebit has claimed four straight league championship since 2014-2015 season. However, Adama city just won its first league championship in the last season.
4. Kenyan Women’s Premier League
Number 4 is the Kenyan women’s premier league. It has been in existence since 2010 and has grown to be one of the best in Africa. In terms of performance, Kenyan women’s premier league has been outstanding despite sponsorship issues. The football league is improving consistently from local to continental levels. As a result of consistency, Kenyan women’s national team successfully secured their African women’s cup of nations debut appearance in 2016.
Furthermore, the league consists of 18 clubs. Gor Mahia was the champion for the last season. They will represent Kenya in the next CAF women’s champions league.
3. South Africa’s Sasol women’s national league
South Africa’s Sasol women national league is a top-flight female football league in South Africa. The league was established in 2009 following the sponsorship deal signed with Sasol. With 144 women teams in 9 provinces, Sasol women’s league is the biggest football league in Africa.
In terms of league performance, Sasol women’s league has been consistent. They have featured in big matches both at the local level and continental level plus consistent appearances at the Olympic game.
2. Ghanaian national women league
Number 2 on our list of top 5 female football leagues in Africa is the Ghanaian national women league. It was established in 2012. Despite facing sponsorship lapses, the league continues to be a top figure in Africa. Ghanaian women league has produced quality players with great impact both at the national and continental levels.
The league is divided into two divisions. The winner from each division will go head-on for the championship title. Ampem Darkoa is the current champion of the league.
1. Nigeria Women’s Premier League
First on our list of top 5 female football leagues in Africa is the Nigerian women’s premier league. The football league created in 1992 is the mother of female football leagues in Africa. The Nigeria women’s premier league has been tremendous in performance right from the onset. It enjoys good sponsorship deals with a high number of supporters, quality players, and highly rated clubs, among other things. This is the league other nations would want to become.
Female football leagues in Africa need more support than they are currently getting. It is humanly fair that they get equal treatment as their male counterparts. At African Vibes, we call on governments of various African nations, institutions, and individuals to support the female football leagues. Now tell us, apart from financial support, what else can be done to make female football leagues better? Share your views in the comment box below.