1st Edition

Women's Football in Africa

By Chuka Onwumechili Copyright 2024
    176 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This is the first book to take an in-depth look at women’s football in Africa. Exploring the history, contemporary landscape and future development of the women’s game on the African continent, the book offers an important new perspective on the rise of women’s sport more broadly. 

    The book traces the history of women’s soccer in Africa from its introduction during the period of European colonisation and it’s subsequent ban by colonial authorities, through to the present day period of rapidly increasing spectatorship, rising participation rates and growing media interest. It reflects on the social obstacles to girls’ participation, including socio-cultural and religious barriers, as well as important social issues in football such as homophobia, discrimination and abuse, and considers why certain countries have dominated African competitions, including Nigeria, Ghana and, latterly, South Africa, Equitorial Guinea and Cameroon. The book also examines the crucial role played by youth academies, and FIFA’s leadership role, and considers the challenges faced by African players, clubs and countries on the global stage. 

    This is fascinating reading for anybody with an interest in football, sport history, women’s sport, Africa, development studies, or the relationships between sport and wider society.

    1. African Women’s Football and Early History: Dark Ages of Extreme Sexism and Denial

    2. FIFA’s Recognition and Rise of Women’s Football in Africa

    3. The Challenge of the Girl-child and Social Obstacles in Playing Football

    4. Rationale for the Early Domination of Nigeria and Ghana in Women’s Football

    5. The Emergence of South African, Equator-Guinean, and Cameroonian Women’s National Football Teams

    6. New Wave of Football Equilibrium Among Women’s Teams

    7. Academy and Club Football: Focal Point and Plateauing of Competition Among Women

    8. African Women at Football’s Global Stage and Challenges

    9. Persistent Issues Facing Women’s Football: Social Inhibitions, Homophobia, and Discrimination

    10. The Future of Women’s Football in Africa


    Chuka Onwumechili is Full Professor of Communications at Howard University, USA. He has written widely on subjects including sports, politics, culture, communications, and biography. He serves as Editor-In-Chief for the Howard Journal of Communications and serves on the Editorial Board of the Communication & Sports journal.