WOMEN – African Teams (2016 Rio Olympic Qualification Process)

Women’s Team – Africa by Derek Wei

Among the 18 participating teams, Zimbabwe and South Africa eventually stood out after finishing strong at the 2015 CAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

1: Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe_FA Image retrieved from Wikipedia

History and Fun Facts

As a relative new face on the stage of international women’s soccer, the Zimbabwe team never competed in any international matches before 2000, when they attend the 2000 African Women’s Championship and finished as the 4th. Since then, the team had never qualified for any World Cup or Olympic Games (until the 2016 Rio’s Olympic).

Zimbabwe Image retrieved from FIFA Website

Zimbabwe’s Journey to Rio

The first trip to Olympic was by no means easy for Zimbabwe, as the southern African team actually lose their first game of the Qualifying Tournament to Zambia (1-2). But luckily, due to the away-goal rule, they advanced to the next round after scoring a 1-0 victory at home for the second leg.

In the next round, Zimbabwe faced Ivory Coast but they failed to secure enough funds to travel for their first leg game. FIFA initially threw Zimbabwe out of the tournament, but reinstalled them after Zimbabwe’s appeal. Afterwards, it was Ivory Coast that failed to show up on the original second leg, and eventually withdrew before the rescheduled second leg. Therefore, Zimbabwe magically marched into the final round. And again, benefiting from the away-goal rule, they won the tie after losing the away game to Cameroon (1-2) and wining the home game (1-0). So after all these dramas, Zimbabwe qualified for the Olympic Games first time ever in the nation’s history.

 2: South Africa

South_Africa_FA Image retrieved from Wikipedia

History and Fun Facts

Also known as Banyana Banyana (The Girls), the South Africa made their first appearance at the Women’s Olympic at London four years ago. Being at the same group with Japan and Canada, who eventually took home the silver and bronze medals respectively, South Africa wasn’t able to advance beyond the group stage. But their draw game against Japan was nevertheless impressive.

Banyana-group-UJ-20132 Image retrieved from SA Women Soccer Website

South Africa’s  Journey to Rio

Back to African Continent, the Banyana Banyana definitely had a clear advantage over most of the other teams. Until the final round, the team didn’t really ran into any solid opposite during the Qualifying Tournament. At the final round game, South Africa only had a goalless draw at home in the first game against Equatorial Guinea, Africa’s women soccer powerhouse. While just as all odds seemed to be on the other side of Banyana Banyana, they finished strong with a 1-0 victory thanks to Jermaine Seoposenwe’s goal, and won their trip ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

How to cite this page: “WOMEN – African Teams (2016 Rio Olympic Qualification Process)”, Written by Derek Wei (2016). Journey to Rio, Olympic Football 2016 Guide, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, http://sites.duke.edu/wcwp/tournament-guides/olympic-football-2016-guide/journey-to-rio-qualification-process-rules-for-2016-olympic-games/women-african-teams/ (accessed on (date)).


1: Wikipedia contributors, “Football at the 2016 Summer Olympics,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Football_at_the_2016_Summer_Olympics&oldid=717243806 (accessed April 30, 2016)

2:Wikipedia contributors, “2015 CAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2015_CAF_Women%27s_Olympic_Qualifying_Tournament&oldid=710888114 (accessed April 30, 2016)

3: FIFA Website, “Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, Rio 2016, Zimbabwe Team Page”, http://www.fifa.com/womensolympic/teams/team=1885016/index.html (accessed April 30, 2016)

4: FIFA Website, “Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, Rio 2016, South Africa Team Page”, http://www.fifa.com/womensolympic/teams/team=1885031/index.html (accessed April 30, 2016)