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Morocco’s women’s team kicks off its two-week training camp on Monday

Morocco is prioritising the advancement of women’s football with the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) wanting them to become a force in Africa, writes Busisani Ncube.

Barely a week after government gave a greenlight for the return of football in the north African country, the FRMF is assembling a 25-member women’s squad at the state-of-the-art Mohammed VI Complex for a two-week training.

Announcing the camp at the weekend, the Fouzi Lekjaa-led federation said the idea was to solidify a nucleus of a strong squad capable of dominating the continental game.

“After the announcement by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation on the resumption of football activities, during a meeting of the steering committee chaired by Fouzi Lekjaa, the women’s national team will enter into camp at the Mohammed VI Football Complex in Salé from Monday, June 29, while respecting the health protocols established by our health authorities,” the federation said.
Kelly Lindsey’s Atlas Lionesses are the first national team in the north African country to resume training after the suspension of football due to Covid-19 back in March.

The Atlas Lionesses get down to business

“The training camp will run until July 12 with the participation of 25 players,” the federation added.
The FRMF set the development of football in motion when it created a national league of women’s football recently. The move looks set to fast-track the growth of the ladies’ game.

The women’s game in Morocco has enjoyed a lot of success in recent years. The national U20 women’s team, under the tutelage of Lamia Boumehdi, won the North African U20 Football Union Championship. They also walked away with a bronze medal at the African Games last August in Rabat.
The senior team emerged victorious in the UNAF Trophy held in Tunis while the U17s also had a fine run in the World Cup qualifiers.
Football analysts in Morocco attribute the strides to a football academy for girls set up by the FRMF. The academy is tipped to become a conveyor belt for football talent that will go on to conquer the world.

The ladies’ national teams in Morocco have previously used competitions such as the International Women’s Cup hosted on Women’s Day in Rabat to gauge their skills against international opponents from Gabon and Ghana.

The Atlas Lionesses will have one eye on the 2020 Women’s African Nations Cup Tournament qualifiers scheduled for later this year.

The tournament hosts have yet to be confirmed after the Republic of Congo withdrew as hosts. The 2020 tournament will be expanded from eight to 12 teams. The tournament is scheduled for 23 November to 20 December 2020.

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