African nations need to increase their commitments to tap from the great opportunities in women’s football, according to LaLiga’s Pedro Malabia.
The football director’s views come on the Spanish torecent partnerships with Nigeria Women’s Football League and South Africa Football Association in a bid to promote the women’s game.
And Malabia, who has overseen the incredible growth of the Spanish women’s topflight since 2015 believes there are a lot of untapped opportunities in Africa.
“We are looking to work together with any country passionate about promoting and developing women’s football,” he told Goal.
“The best of these things is to learn from each other as there is no top league than others. There are great opportunities in Africa, talented players too.
“Some top countries have a lot experience competing at various international tournaments and the African Women’s Cup of Nations has really been a great tournament.
“I think that Africa just need time and strategy and need to understand that they have the opportunities as not every continent does.
“When we talk about Nigeria and South Africa in redefining the women’s game in Africa. I think that for every country, federation and women’s league in Africa, there should be more commitments because women’s football is much more than just football.
“It’s far more about what you want as a society. It’s not about inequality but something more about a society that really needs to respect the dreams and values of everyone.”
A total of 14 players of African descent currently play in Spain, including Madrid’s German-Ghanaian Eunice Beckmann and Sevilla’s American-Nigerian Toni Payne.
The expliots of Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala, scoring five goals in five games for Barcelona alongside Zambia’s Barbara Banda, Namibia’s Zenatha Coleman and Equatorial Guinea’s Jade Boho among others speak volumes about the talent-rich continent.
And the LaLiga chief is impressed and further convinced of African players adding great values to standards and quality in Spain and European women’s football.
“Africa is really one of the best continents when it comes to top players. I think that they have high and very physical talents,” he continued.
“We’re seeing quite a lot of them, especially Asisat Oshoala with Barcelona. Their performances have been really good, and the key thing is that they are adding something different to European and Spanish football.
“From a physical and technical point of view, they are clearly different from the profile of Spanish players. It is a good movement and we can only hope more Africans join the Spanish league.”
Africa, indeed, have raised the bar with the entrant of 23 nations in the Caf Women’s Olympic qualifier, beginning this April as the highest ever in the continent’s history.