By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Head coach of South African women’s league winners, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies’ Jerry Tshabalala has bemoaned the non appearance of any Nigerian club at the ongoing CAF Women’s Champions League taking place in Ivory Coast.
For the first in the history of the three year old tournament, Nigeria will not be having a representative at the 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League.
Nigerian champions, Delta Queens faltered at the last hurdle with a 1-0 loss to Ampem Darkoa of Ghana in the final of the 2023 West Africa Zone B (WAFU-B) Women’s Champions League Qualifiers in Benin City, Edo State capital.
After beating Nigerian teams (Rivers Angels and Bayelsa Queens) in the first two editions of the tournament, Tshabalala was expecting his side meet another Nigerian side in 2023 but was disapointed after Ampem Darkoa’s victory over the Pearls.
“I watched the game between Delta Queens and Ampem Darkoa. The Nigerian team tried but were unlucky after playing well. Ampem scored a goal and hold on to the win,” Tshabalala told NigeriaFootball.ng
“My team beat Rivers Angels 1-0 and Bayelsa Queens 2-1 in the past editions and lookign forward to facing another Nigerian team this year but it is unfortunate that Delta Queens can’t go past Ampem Darkoa.
“I was surprised that they [Ampem Darkoa] beat Delta Queens, scored a goal, and held on to the win despite the Nigerians’ dominance. With that, other teams should be careful and watch out for them. They are one of my favorites.” He concluded.
The trio of Rivers Angels, Bayelsa Queens, Delta Queens and other teams in the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Premiership will have to contest for the league title and win the next WAFU-B Women’s Champions League title to be able to make it to the 2024 CAF Women’s Champions League.
WAFU-B teams can reclaim two qualification slots if Ampem Darkoa win the 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League title.
The WAFU-B finals in the past three Zonal finals have been affairs between Nigeria and Ghana wit the latter winning two of the last three editions.