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AWCON MOROCCO 2022: The Stakes of the Competition & Expectations from Favourites, Outsiders, Newcomers

The AWCOn Morocco 2022 will be the 14th edition of the women’s tournament and 1st of its kind with 12 participating teams spread in 3 groups.

The Super Falcons of Nigeria remain the “natural” favourites of the competition. Though struggling with a transitional team, the Super Falcons have triumph 11 times and have been able to win the competition back to back in the past 3 editions. The question here would be Who can dethrone the super falcons in this edition of the AWCON and 3 main challengers stand on their way; South Africa, Cameroon and Zambia, with Morocco and Tunisia to dish in as the potential surprise packages.

Three nations are making their debut; Burkina Faso who played their first women’s international game in 2007, Togo who started playing in official FIFA matches in 2006 and Botswana played their first women’s international in 2002.

Burundi, Senegal and Uganda will try to make it to the knockout stages.

This AWCON 2022 is particular as the stakes are high on and off the continent.

The tournament will serve as the African qualifiers for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The four semifinalists will book their spots, while two more teams will go to the inter-confederation play-offs

Who succeed Nigeria in this tourney is the question on most lips and with the absence of Ghana, South Africa and Cameroon are seen as the archrivals and two teams who can destabilize the hegemony of the Super Falcons led by Asisat Oshoala, the most decorated African female footballer of all time, and a joint-record four-time African Women’s Footballer of the Year.

After the cancellation of the 2020 edition of the AWCON due to COVIS19, Africa’s cream of women footballers are meeting once more in this month of June which is equally the month of women competitions across other continents. The AWCON that will run from the 2nd to the 23rd of July will now compete with the North America’s CONCACAF WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP (4-18 July), European UEFA WOMEN’S EURO (6-31 July), South America’s COPA AMERICA FEMENINA (8-30 July) and Oceania’s OFC WOMEN’S NATIONS CUP. CAF and Africa media will have to battle hard to keep its audience.

The African Women Cup of Nations has sometime sbeen critized for its lack of quality and many sports pundits claim that the increase of participating teams from 8 to 12 will contribute in diluting the quality of some of the games with expected high spanking scorelines in some encounters and create less attractive fixtures. With the world class stadiums, expectations are high that the quality of the game will be uplifted.

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