Kenya’s Vihiga Queens’ victory over Commercial Bank of Ethiopia on Thursday at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani revived hopes that all is not lost for the country’s football.
Stunning favourites CBE 2-1 to lift the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) Women Club Championship title and qualify for the inaugural Confederation of Africa Football (Caf) Women Champions League is no mean feat.
Vihiga Queens will now join six other regional winners and host Egypt for the inaugural Champions League due either in November or December this year in Cairo.
The performance by Vihiga Queens is a clear indication that with good organisation and support from across the board, women football can scale to the highest level.
Vihiga Queens have for the last five seasons been supported by the Vihiga County government, a gesture that other counties should emulate if the country is to develop sports at the grassroots. Counties have huge budgetary allocations for sports but the money ends up being diverted. The success of Vihiga Queens is an example and a reminder of what county governments can do.
It’s also good to note that women’s football is fast growing, hence a good move by the world football governing body, FIFA, Caf and Cecafa to introduce the league.
It shows that they are taking women development seriously and that women too have a right to showcase their talent and express themselves besides earning a living from football.
Kenya qualified for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in 2016 and 2018 and almost made it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this year.
These are gains on which Football Kenya Federation must cash in to put in place structures that will see women football spread across the country with vibrant leagues and tournaments in place.
Caf Club Licensing Senior Manager Muhammad Sidat has already suggested that clubs competing in Caf Champions League ought to have female teams starting from 2022/23 season.
This is a well-thought-out idea that can work and top Kenya Premier League clubs should also start thinking on the same lines.