2023 CAF Women’s Champions League commences: Here is all you need to know
The 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League, which opened in Abidjan on Sunday, November 5, 2023, is the third edition of the annual African women’s association football club tournament organised by the Confederation of African Football.
Eight Clubs are participating in the competition. The participating clubs include two previous winners: ASFAR from Morocco and South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns. The rest are Ampem Darkoa (Ghana), Huracanes FC (Equatorial Guinea), AS Mande (Mali), Athletico Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), SC Casablanca (Morocco) and JKT Queens (Tanzania).
The CAF Women’s Champions League officially kicked off in the cities of Korhogo and San Pedro last Sunday.
Morocco’s AS Far are the defending champions, having clinched the crown on home soil, beating holders Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies.
The winners of this edition will automatically qualify for the following edition of the tournament. The qualification draw was conducted on 5 July, 2023 at the Mohammed VI Football Academy in Rabat, Morocco.
The CAF Women’s Champions League is part of CAF President, Dr Patrice Motsepe’s vision of making African football globally competitive and self-sustaining and creating platforms for Women’s Football in Africa to develop.
GROUP A: Athletico Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), SC Casablanca (Morocco), JKT Queens (Tanzania), Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
GROUP B: AS FAR (Morocco), Ampem Darkoa (Ghana), Huracanes FC (Equatorial Guinea), AS Mande (Mali)
2021: Mamelodi Sundowns (AFS) 2-0 Hasaacas Ladies FC (GHA)
2022: AS Far (MAR) 4-0 Mamelodi Sundowns (SA)
2021: Evelyn Badu (GHA)
2022: Fatima Tagnaout (MAR)
2021: Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns)
2022: Khadija Er-Rmichi (AS Far)
2021: Evelyn Badu 5 goals (GHA)
2022: Ibtissam Jraidi 6 goals (MAR)
Hail from Techiman in the Bono East Region of Ghana.
2022-23 Ghanaian top-flight winners.
Won the Northern Zone of the Ghana Women’s Premier League, by a single point ahead of Dreamz Ladies. They then went on to defeat Southern Zone Champions Hasaacas Ladies in the play-off final on penalties.
Came through the WAFU B Zone Qualifiers, defeating Nigerian side Delta Queen F.C. in the final.
Have won the last two Ghana Premier League Titles, defeating Hasaacas Ladies in the play-off final in both.
Are the second team from Ghana to feature in the finals, their rivals Hasaacas Ladies were runners up in the inaugural competition in 2021.
Defeated Togolese team Academie Amis du Monde 4-2 and Athletico FC d’ Abidjan 3-1 in the group stages and Sam Nelly of Benin 4-1 in the last four. They defeated Delta Queens FC of Nigeria 1-0 in the final.
Mary Amponsah was their top scorer in the qualifiers with scoring 8 of her teams 12 goals in the qualifiers including back-to-back hattricks in the group stages. Was also the Ghana Premier League player of the season in 2022-23, scoring 16 goals in the league last season.
Their recent impressive displays earned captain Mavis Owusu a transfer to the Saudi Super League with Al Hilal.
Will be Ghana’s second representatives at the finals along with their rivals Hasaacas Ladies who ended as the runners up in 2021.
Ghana’s previous representative at the finals Hasaacas Ladies in 2021 went through their group stage campaign undefeated, they won their first two games 3-0 and 3-1 against Malabo Kings and AS Mande before drawing with hosts Wadi Degla in their final group game.
AS FAR Club
AS FAR won the 2022 CAFWCL defeating defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies 4-0 in the final.
AS FAR along with Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies are one of two teams who have reached all three CAFWCL Finals.
AS FAR have played the full compliment of games at all of their appearances in 2021 they ended third and in 2022 they were winners.
AS FAR have always begun the tournament with a win in 2021 they started with a 3-0 triumph over Nigerian side Rivers Angels and in 2022 they defeated Simba Queens of Tanzania 1-0.
AS FAR are presently on a six game winning run at the finals starting with a 3-1 win over Malabo Kings in the play-off for third in 2021. They won all five of their games in 2022 on their way to lifting the title.
No team has won as many games in succession in open play as AS FAR have done.
AS FAR have won 7 games in open play at the tournament the joint most along with Mamelodi Sundowns.
AS FAR’s group stage record at the finals reads P6 W4 D1 L1.
As FAR won their first game in 2021 against Rivers Angels and drew their third against Mamelodi Sundowns ladies 0-0. They lost in between to Kenyan side Vihiga Queens, in 2022 they defeated Simba SC, Green Buffaloes and Determine Girls.
AS FAR’s only group stage loss was a 2-0 loss to Vihiga Queens of Kenya in their second group game in 2021.
AS FAR’s biggest group stage win at the tournament came in their opening game in 2021 against Rivers Angels a 3-0 triumph. Their biggest overall win was a 4-0 triumph over Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2022 final.
Ibtissam Jraïdi was the top scorer for AS FAR at the 2022 finals she scored a total of six goals over taking Evelyn Badu’s tally of 5 goals from the 2021 finals to set a new tournament record for the most goals in a single finals. Jraïdi also scored a hattrick in the final against Sundowns.
Fatima Tagnaout made history at the 2022 finals as she became the first player to score in two different finals for AS FAR when she netted a brace in their second group game against Green Buffaloes. Both goals coming from the penalty spot, she also scored one goal in the 2021 edition.
The following players Shine Agbomadzi, Douha Ahmamou, Siham Boukhami, Ghizlane Chhiri, Fatima Dahmos, Khadija Er-Rmichi, Ibtissam Jraïdi, Aziza Rabbah and Fatima Tagnaout featured in all five of AS FAR’s games on their way to being crowned champions in 2022.
Four players featured started and finished all five of AS FAR’s games at the 2022 finals, they are Fatima Dahmos, Khadija Er-Rmichi, Aziza Rabbah and Fatima Tagnaout.
AS FAR have 14 players in their current squad who ended third at the 2021 edition they are Najat Badri, Siham Boukhami, Ghizlane Chebbak, Ghizlane Chhiri, Fatima Zahra Dahmos, Khadija Er-Rmichi, Aziza Rabbah, Sanaâ Mssoudy, Fatima Zahra Tagnaout , Hanane Aït El Haj, Sofia Bouftini, Douha Ahmamou, Zineb Redouani and Nouhaila Benzina.
Fourteen members of AS FAR’s current squad were winners in 2022 they are Shine Agbomadzi, Douha Ahmamou, Siham Boukhami, Ghizlane Chhiri, Fatima Dahmos, Khadija Er-Rmichi, Aziza Rabbah, Fatima Tagnaout, Najat Badri, Nouhaila Benzina, Zineb Redouani, Ikram Benjaddi, Ghizlane Chebbak, Sanaâ Mssoudy.
Of AS FAR’s current squad Douha Ahmamou, Siham Boukhami, Ghizlane Chhiri, Fatima Dahmos, Khadija Er-Rmichi, Aziza Rabbah, Fatima Tagnaout, Najat Badri, Nouhaila Benzina, Zineb Redouani, Ghizlane Chebbak and Sanaâ Mssoudy have been part of their squads at both finals.
Chebbak who featured in 2021 did not play in 2022 as she was injured but was part of the squad, like Mssoudy who played in all five games in 2021 and scored three goals for AS FAR did not feature in 2022 but was a squad member.
Sofia Boutini who was not part of the AS FAR squad at the last finals in 2022 returns for her second finals after featuring in four games in their run to third place in 2021. Likewise Hanane Ait El Haj returns after missing the last edition she did not play in any games in 2021.
The following players Ghizlane Chiri, Fatima Dahmos, Khadija Er- Rmichi, Fatima Tagnout and Aziza Rabbah have featured in all ten of AS FAR’s games at the finals.