The 2023 Women’s World Cup will have thirty-two teams taking part for the first time in the 32 years history of the competition, with Africa sending four representatives for the first time in the tournament’s history.
South Africa, Morocco, Zambia, and Nigeria are the four African countries travelling to Australia and New Zealand after securing their tickets in the last Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.
Meanwhile, of the four African representatives, Nigeria and South Africa have participated before the coming 2023 edition, while the likes of Morocco and Zambia are making their debut.
The Super Falcons reached the last eight in 1999 and the round of 16 in 2019, while the only other African team to make it to the knockout stage is the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon in the 2015 and 2019 editions.
Soccernet.ng profiles Nigeria’s Super Falcons and the other three teams to represent Africa at the event.
Nigeria’s Super Falcons
The Super Falcons of Nigeria are the most successful team in the history of African women’s football, having ruled the continent on 11 occasions and also holding Africa’s most participation at the event.
Nigeria is currently ranked first in Africa and 40th in the world respectively. They still possess a good squad blended with both experienced players and talented young players. Onome Ebi at 40 is the oldest in the squad with five World Cups participations, while the likes of Tosin Demehin, Deborah Abiodun, and Glory Ogbonna to mention a few are just making their debuts.
Asisat Oshoala is in their squad and she’s as good as any other player in the world today. Her performance last season for Barcelona suggests she can still be trusted to deliver on the global stage. The Falcons are still a team to beat in women’s football, but their disappointing fourth-place finish in the last WAFCON support how fast they are losing their reputation in women’s football.
South Africa’s Banyana Banyana
The South African women’s national soccer team, Banyana Banyana, is gradually building its popularity as a new powerhouse in African football, as evidenced by their impressive journey to claim their first trophy on the continent in the last WAFCON.
They are currently ranked 54th in the world, with the 2023 Women’s World Cup just their second after their debut appearance four years ago.
They finished last in the group four years ago and they will be hoping to do better this time around with both top scorer Magaia and best goalkeeper Andile Dlamini in the last WAFCON in their squad.
Morocco’s Lionesses of Atlas
One of the two African teams making their debut is the Morocco women’s national football team. The Lionesses of Atlas impressed in the last WAFCON on their home soil making it to the final before they lost to eventual champions South Africa.
They are currently ranked 72nd in the world and 7th on the continent.
The country’s AS FAR football club is the current champion of the CAF Women’s Champions League and boasts several of its players in the Morocco squad for the World Cup.
Ghizlane Chebbak the best player in the WAFCON is a player in their squad to look out for in the World Cup.
Zambia’s Copper Queens
Zambia and eight other countries are making their debut in the 2023 edition of the world cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The Copper Queens as they are nicknamed, have had a good time in recent years in women’s football. They first qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Japan, before an impressive third-place finish in WAFCON secured their ticket to the World Cup.
They are currently the best 9th team in Africa and 77th in overall world rankings.
Their skipper at just 23 years of age Barbra Banda who plays in the Chinese League is a good young player to watch out for at the event.