Mauritius women's national football team
|Association||Mauritius Football Association|
|Head coach||Alain Jules|
| Réunion 3 − 0 Mauritius
(Saint-Denis; 3 June 2012)
| Réunion 3 − 0 Mauritius
(Saint-Denis; 3 June 2012)
The Mauritius women's national football team is a women's association football team that represents the country of Mauritius. They have played two matches in their history, playing Réunion on 3 June 2012 and 25 November 2012. As Réunion are not a FIFA member, this match was not recognised by FIFA. They are controlled by the Mauritius Football Association and are members of FIFA, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA). As of 2012[update] the head coach is Alain Jules. The development of women's football in the country and in Africa as a whole faces a number of challenges, with a programme for women's football not being created in the country until 1997. FIFA gives money to the Mauritius Football Association, 10% of which is aimed at developing football in the country in areas that include women's football, sport medicine and futsal.
In 1985, almost no country in the world had a women's national football team and Mauritius was no exception with a women's football programme only being established in the country in 1997. As of January 2013, the team has not played in, nor have they scheduled, any FIFA sanctioned matches. The only match they have played to date was against Réunion on 3 June 2012 in Saint-Denis. This match ended in a 3-0 defeat. A return match was planned for July 2012 in Mauritius, but this was put back to November 2012. The match was played in Bambous on 25 November 2012, with Réunion winning again, this time by 2 goals to 1.
Mauritius was scheduled to compete in several competitions, which they ended up withdrawing from before playing a single match. The list includes the 2002 Confederation of Southern African Football Associations women's tournament in Harare, Zimbabwe from which they withdrew. In 2005, Zambia was supposed to host a regional Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) women's football tournament, with several countries agreeing to send teams including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland. The tournament eventually took place in 2006, but Mauritius did not send a team. Beyond that, they were scheduled to participate in the 2008 Women's U-20 World Cup qualification, where they were scheduled to play Zimbabwe in the preliminary round; however, Zimbabwe withdrew from the competition giving Mauritius an automatic bye into the first round. In that round Mauritius was supposed to play South Africa, but withdrew from the competition.
Recruitment and organisation
Women's football in Africa as a whole faces several challenges, including limited access to education, poverty amongst women in the wider society, and fundamental gender inequality present in the society that occasionally allows for female specific human rights abuses. Another problem with the development for the national team, one faced throughout the continent, is if quality female football players are found, many leave the country seeking greater opportunity in Northern Europe or the United States.
Women's football was formally established in Mauritius in 1997. As of 2009, there was no national or regional women's competition but a school competition existed. There are 17 clubs for women over the age of 16 and four youth clubs in the country. The country has three national women's football teams: senior, under-15, and under-19. In the period between 2002 and 2006, none of them played even one international match. 10% of the money from the FIFA Financial Assistance Programme (FAP) is targeted at the technical development of the game, which includes women's football, sport medicine and futsal. This compares to 15% for men's competitions and 4% for youth football development. Between 1991 and 2010 in Mauritius, there was no FIFA FUTURO III regional course for women's coaching, no women's football seminar held in the country and no FIFA MA course held for women/youth football.
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