Guinea-Bissau women's national football team
|Association||Federação de Futebol da Guiné-Bissau|
|Sub-confederation||WAFU (West Africa)|
|Head coach||Lassana Cassama|
|Highest FIFA ranking||92 (2009)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||144 (2007)|
| Guinea-Bissau 1−1 Guinea
(Bissau; 28 October 2006)
| Guinea 1−3 Guinea-Bissau
(Conakry; 12 November 2006)
Guinea-Bissau women's national football team is a FIFA-recognised team representing Guinea-Bissau in international association football matches. Guinea-Bissau have played in two FIFA-recognised matches, both in 2006 against Guinea. The country also has a national under-17 side which participated in the 2012 Confederation of African Football qualifiers for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup. Football is the most popular women's sport in the country. A women's football programme was established in 2004, followed by the creation of a women's national league.
In 1985, few countries had women's national football teams. While the sport gained popularity worldwide in the ensuing years, Guinea-Bissau's team only began play more than two decades later. By the end of 2006, the team had played in two FIFA-recognised matches. The first was on 28 October 2006 against Guinea in Bissau, which ended in a 1-1 tie after Guinea-Bissau led 1-0 at half-time. On 12 November 2006, the team played in their second FIFA-recognised match in Conakry, where Guinea-Bissau lost to Guinea 1-3. At the time, the team held three training sessions a week. The team has not participated in some of the major international and regional football competitions, including the Women's World Cup, the 2010 African Women's Championship and the 2011 All-Africa Games.
The team's average FIFA world ranking since 2006 is 119th. Its highest-ever ranking was 92nd in December 2009, and its lowest ranking was 144th in December 2007. Guinea-Bissau's best-ever rise in the rankings came in March 2008, when the team climbed 23 places compared to its previous FIFA ranking. In March 2012, the team was ranked the 135th in the world by FIFA and 30th in the Confederation of African Football. In June 2012, they moved up five spots to 130th in the world but fell to the 33rd in Africa.
Guinea-Bissau has a FIFA recognised under-17 football team, which was established in 2006 but did not play any matches that year. The team competed in the Confederation of African Football qualifiers for the FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held in Azerbaijan in September 2012. They did not advance beyond regional qualifiers.
Background and development
The development of women's football in Africa faces several challenges, including limited access to education, poverty amongst women, inequalities and human rights abuses targeting women. Many quality football players leave to seek greater opportunities in Europe or the United States. Funding for women's football in Africa is also an issue: Most of the financial assistance for women's football comes from FIFA, not the national football associations.
Guinea-Bissau won its independence in 1974, the same year its national football federation, Federação de Futebol da Guiné-Bissau, was founded. The federation became a FIFA affiliate in 1986. Women's football is provided for in the constitution of Federação de Futebol da Guiné-Bissau, and the organisation has four full-time staff members focusing on it.
Football is the country's most popular sport for women, and is supported by football programmes in schools. A national women's football programme was established in 2004. By 2006, the country had 80 total football clubs, five of which were mixed and three of which were for women only. There were 380 registered female players, and a women's teams played in a national football championship. Three years later, there were 24 active women's teams in Guinea-Bissau.
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