Women’s Premier League Breeds New Hope for Ghanaian Women’s Football
The Black Queens of Ghana were amongst the early frontrunners of women’s football in Africa, finishing second to arch-rivals Nigeria in three of the first five editions of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, but they have lost their way over the last decade and a half, failing to make the final of the continental showpiece since 2006.
Also, Ghana qualified for three successive editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup between 1999 and 2007, but the Black Queens have been missing on the global stage since then.
Ghana has never qualified for the women’s football event at the Olympic Games.
Things have been looking more optimistic for Ghanaian women’s football in recent times, with the women’s Premier League potentially holding the key to Ghana’s return to the summit of the African game.
At the inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League in 2021, Ghanaian champions, Hasaacas Ladies went all the way to the final, before losing to South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns in the title match.
The Ghanaian team won two and drew one of their three round robin matches to finish top of a group that also included Malabo Queens, Wadi Degla and AS Mande. They took out Moroccans, AS FAR in the last four but lost 2-0 to Sundowns in the final.
They scored 10 goals in the competition, more than any other side, with Evelyn Badu claiming the tournament’s Golden Boot with five goals.
While Hasaacas could not quite cross the finish line, their run to the final demonstrated the quality that still exists in women’s football in Ghana, giving the game plenty to build on.
Since then, the Ghana Women’s Premier League has taken a few steps forward, notably signing a sponsorship deal with betting giants, Betway.
Betway is one of the biggest betting brands in Ghana, having millions of registered Ghanaian users on their site.
Announcing the deal in February 2022, Betway revealed that they would be Development Partners of the Ghanaian women’s top-flight, which would see them support the teams and the league in a variety of ways.
Part of the deal is that betway would organize monthly mentorship programs for the club officials, where they would discuss Marketing & Sponsorship, Role of the Team Manager, Coaching, Video Analysis, Nutrition and Sports Science.
The company will also provide training equipment for the participating teams.
Furthermore, the betting giants will work in collaboration with the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) to improve the coverage of the women’s league and project the competition to a larger audience.
“With the re-organisation of the Women’s Premier League and the support from Betway and a new incoming Television partner, we are guaranteed even more competitive matches, more talent identification and development, more excitement, and indeed, a great champion to represent Ghana at the CAF Women’s Champions League,” stated Prosper Harrison Addo, (Esq.), the General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association.
The first instalment of the mentorship program was conducted towards the end of February.
All of these bode very well for women’s football in Ghana.
There is no doubt that talents abound in the local league, and with the new level of professionalism being adopted, the future of Ghanaian women’s football looks very bright.