There is a silver lining for Nigerian ladies seeking to play in Asia in the nearest future as the Chinese Football Association (CFA) has announced that all clubs in its top-flight Chinese Super League (CSL) must have an affiliated women’s soccer team by 2020.
This will mean that more players will be recruited to feature in the lucrative Chinese League in future.
Asisat Oshoala, Francisca Ordega and Onome Ebi are the Super Falcons players on the payroll of clubs in the top flight.
The newly-founded women’s teams will play in the Women’s Super League (WSL) and its sub-divisions.
Nigerian players have been linked with moves to China in the past and the involvement of more clubs in the League will mean that there should be enough money to splash.
The CFA’s acting president Du Zhaocai said: “We have recently announced fresh plans focusing on promoting women’s football by enhancing the organisation and management, youth development, competitions [and] coaching courses.”
Zhaocai also revealed that the CFA had taken inspiration from European club’s model for women’s football stating: “This is a pattern on which we can model our women’s game. So we have decided that each CSL side should have a women’s team by 2020 so the men’s game will lend their strengths to the women’s game.”
Whilst the move from Chinese soccer’s governing body aims to increase the quality of domestic competition, it is also designed with the idea of improving the quality of the Chinese women’s national team in the long run.
Zhaocai said: “The youth teams of Under 20s and Under 17s will play the role of providers to the senior team and all these national teams will develop under the identical technical and tactical guidelines.”