Malawi star striker Tabitha Chawinga has said she is keeping fingers crossed on Confederation of African Football (Caf)’s plans to discuss the possibility of introducing a continental club competition in the near future.
Caf executive committee is expected to table the proposal for Women’s Champions League on June 30 when President Ahmad will chair the proceedings.
Speaking from her China base with NB SPORTS LIVE, Chawinga said many women footballers in African countries such as Malawi are dying for international exposure due to limited international competitions for national teams.
“If it is true that Caf wants to take such steps, then I would be happy for Africa women’s football. For teams in countries such as Malawi where women’s football is still developing, players need to
travel to gain exposure.
I am a product of such exposure. Mr David Dube [founder of Tabitha’s childhood team in Malawi] used to take our club to play friendlies with other teams in Zambia and Zimbabwe and that is why our club [DD Sunshine based in Lilongwe] was so strong and contributed many players to the national team,” the Malawi skipper said.
“At the moment, it is difficult for players in countries where women’s football is still developing to gain enough international football exposure through national team competitions because once you face a strong opposition, you play one game, you are knocked out and the journey ends there. Lack of exposure has denied many players in countries such as Malawi, opportunities to play professional football in Europe.
I struggled to convince my former team in Sweden to sign my younger sister Temwa because they had doubts she was good enough for international football.”
Tabitha, two-time Caf Women’s Footballer of the Year nominee, plays for Jiangsu Suning in China but got her break in Sweden where she signed for First Division side Krokom/Dvarsatt IF in 2014 before securing a deal with top flight side Kvarnsveden.
Tabitha, 23, was the top scorer for the Chinese Women’s League in her debut season in 2018 with 17 goals and she repeated her feat after bagging 12 goals in 2019.
She was also a Golden Boot Award winner with 25 goals in Swedish league in 2017 while playing for Kvarnsveden who eventually sold her to Suning.
There are no inter club competitions for women football in Africa. Teams only compete at the national team level in Nations Cup and Olympic qualifying games plus regional competitions such as Cosafa Women’s Championship for Southern Africa.
By Peter Kanjere