In the last few years, the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) embarked on a cause of giving chance to every nation to participate at both continental and global tournaments.
The move was adopted by the Confederations of African football (CAF) as evident from the increasing of the number of teams taking part in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Starting with the on-going AFCON 2019, the teams were increased from 16 to 24, a move which was welcomed across the continent.
On Wednesday, July 17th-2019, it was announced that women football will also adopt the trend as their Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) finals’ tournament had seen an increase in number of teams.
In the past, only 8 teams have been tussling out for the continental show piece title but starting from next year, their will be 12 nations at the finals.
This was confirmed by the CAF president Ahmad Ahmad on his official Twitter account.
“We took a great decision today, the AWCON will now engage 12 teams, they were eight until now.” Read Ahmad’s tweet.
Unlike the Men’s edition, the Women’s has been dominated by Nigeria’s Super Falcons who have gone on to win 11 of the 13 finals’ tournament since inception in 1991.
Equatorial Guinea has won the other two edition, coincidentally both coming in the finals they have hosted (2008 and 2012).
Nigeria is the defending champions of the competition having defeated South Africa 4-3 in the final of the last played in Ghana.
DR Congo was chosen to host the next edition in 2020 but it is understood that the Central African Nation decided to withdraw due to financial reasons and CAF is yet to make a decision on who will host the tournament.
The AWCON also serves as a qualifying tournament for the FIFA World Cup.
Ghana hosted the competition last year with Nigeria again coming out on top.
Must know about the AWCON
The Total Africa Women Cup of Nations(known as the African Women’s Championship until 2015) is an international women’s football competition held every two years and sanctioned by the (CAF).
It was first contested in 1991, but was not held biennially until 1998. Nigeria is the most successful nation in the tournament’s history, having won a record 11 titles, meaning they have won all but two of the previous tournaments.
Ghana hosted the tournament in 2018.