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African Players Showed themselves to be Athletes Possessing Immense Talent and Skill

No African side progressed past the Round of 16 at the World Cup, but the teams have underlined the growth of women’s football on the continent despite resistance at home and from federations. All four of the teams had such low FIFA world rankings — Nigeria (40), South Africa (54), Morocco (72) and Zambia (77) — that they were each drawn into groups beset with European and North American powerhouses. Further obstacles were laid in front of the players from all four countries as fights with their federations over equal pay, treatment, and in Zambia’s case, accusations of sexual abuse from their head coach Bruce Mwape, blighted their build up to the tournament.