The Confederation of African Football (CAF), Africa’s football governing body, has announced that the 2022 edition of its premier women’s tournament will be held in Morocco.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was originally slated to be the host but has since withdrawn.
South Africa passed the opportunity to replace the DRC as emergency host, citing their active bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
The tournament which has been staged since 1998 was cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
For Morocco, this represents a first and ties in with their ambitious plans to develop the women’s game in the country.
Omar Khyari, a senior advisor to the Royal Morocco Football Federation, promised an “affable platform” for the women’s continental tournament.
“We are very happy and honoured to host the African Women’s Cup in Morocco. First class infrastructures will be available for this competition with the aim of having a high quality soccer showpiece,” he said.
“We want this event to be a great celebration of African football. The hosting of this event comes at the right time for the FRMF, which is taking significant steps towards the development of women’s football in Morocco.”
The opportunity to host the tournament comes at a time when Morocco is making huge strides to revamp women football at all levels across the country.
The FRMF has invested €6m to develop and grow women’s football in Morocco for the next four years, aiming to have at least 80,000 players and over 1,000 coaches.
“We’re also working towards the creation of a strong institution, the national women’s football league, as well as implementing a Marshall Plan for the development of women’s football with a budget of 6 million euros.”
“We just crowned the champions of the inaugural professional women’s football league in Morocco and we’re looking forward to seeing the women’s game grow,” he added.
This will be the first continental competition that consists of 12 teams rather than the usual eight.
South Africa and Nigeria have staged the spectacle three times, Equatorial Guinea twice, while Namibia, Cameroon and Ghana have staged it once.
Morocco is also set to host the rescheduled Under-17 Nations Cup in March this year.