The Ghanaian woman in football and the new FIFA gender era

The Ghanaian woman in football and the new FIFA gender era

Editor’s note: We bring to our dear readers the role of three key Ghanaian football administrators, Leanier Addy, Roselyn Amoh and Mercy Tagoe Quarcoo  who in diverse ways have elevated the image of the Ghana football. FIFA has made some changes which includes a gender balance reform currently skewed unfairly against women.

The Ghanaian woman in football and the new FIFA gender era

Leanier Addy (right) is the Chairperson of the National Women's League Board

There were days past when girls were told that they belonged to the kitchen and as far as they could get to any playing field was to play with a doll or ‘ampe’ (a traditional game played between two or more players mainly girls that is accompanied by singing).

The popularity of football however, attracted more girls to get involved with it which transcended being mere spectators to playing and serving in many administrative roles now.

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In the days leading to the FIFA elections, FIFA endorsed a set of reforms which included the promotion of women in football.

It sought to increase gender balance, which had hitherto skewed unfairly against women.

The issue got so much attention and became a ‘catch 22’ on all of the five candidates’ campaign manifesto.

The reform spelt out the need for a new council which will comprise of a number of female representatives from each confederation to replace the current executive committee.

So, the five candidates, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Tokyo Sexwale, Jerome Champagne and the eventual winner, Gianni Infantino all had it on their last minute vote bids to woo delegates.

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Infantino’s FIFA therefore have no option than to elevate gender inclusion and women’s football to first-order priorities.

Six of the 37 seats on the new Fifa Council, which will be 16%, will be reserved for women.

Continental confederations and members now have no option than to constitute their legislative bodies with gender equality in mind.

If properly implemented, these measures can begin to infuse the game with gender fairness, a key ingredient in reforming an overwhelmingly male institution.

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) as an affiliate member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) owes it as a duty to encourage and nurture more women than there are in football administration now.

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We bring to you three women we think must be nurtured to go to FIFA

Leanier Addy:

She is the National Women’s League board chairperson who has been part of the current FA set up for quite some time now.

Addy has been vocal on so many issues concerning football, mostly women and youth football.

She is a former Black Queens player and no wonder has risen to become the Black Queens Management Committee Chairperson.

She once proposed during the Ordinary Congress of the Ghana Football Association that the amount of officiating fees charged at the Colts Football levels must be reduced.

She based her argument on the fact that, the bedrock of every country’s football success is youth football and that host of talents seen playing for the national teams came from the Colts level.

She therefore called for a consideration of the amount of officiating fees paid by clubs at different levels.

There must be a review of the officiating fees for clubs at different levels of the competition. We must consider regional balance too in that regard to encourage more clubs to compete”, Leanier said.

Roselyn Amoh:

The Vice Chairperson of the National Women’s League Board has a wealth of football administration beneath her sleeves.

As a journalist, Amoh has walked in the corridors of many football administrators and gotten herself involved deeper, especially the national women teams.

She once told, #TalksenseSports, on the need for individual sponsorship for women’s football. She encouraged the clubs to look for individual sponsorship in the interim to reduce their financial burdens rather than relying totally on the FA for support.

We haven’t made any headway; we are still going to rely on the FA to take care of our financial issues. It’s not been easy, so we are encouraging the clubs to look for individual sponsorship in their small areas, because that is one of the things we can do to help. If we say we are waiting for the general Women’s League board or the FA to look for some sponsorship, it will be very difficult for us now,” she said.

Mercy Tagoe Quarcoo:

She is the president of the newly formed Retired Women National Football Association of Ghana (RWONFAG)

Herself,  a former member of the Black Queens, Quarcoo Tagoe has retired as a female referee to concentrate on her ambitions of becoming a fully qualified coach.

She also became the first Ghanaian centre woman to handle the finals of a Caf-organised competition when she handled the 2010 Africa Women’s Championship final between Equatorial Guinea and South Africa.

These people are cast in the moulds of Australian Moya Dodd, one of only three women on Fifa’s executive committee, who has been lobbying the reform committee to force a step change in the underrepresentation and under-resourcing of women’s football.

We need more of the likes of Burundi’s Lydia Nsekera, Dodd and Sonia Bien-Aime from Turks & Caicos who were also co-opted.

For now, the doors are opened and the game is no more a masculine one.

The FA capo, Kwesi Nyantakyi and his cohorts should pull the strings to get these women there which would enhance Ghana’s image whilst also serving the demands of the new FIFA reforms.

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