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Legacies: What The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Means To Me by Ewurama Kakraba-Ampeh

Legacies: What The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Means To Me by Ewurama Kakraba-Ampeh

Ewurama Kakraba-Ampeh Football And The City

It is the beautiful game we all love, and sometimes hate to love.

In her first monthly column for Football And The City, Ewurama Kakraba-Ampeh discuss the powerful impact the 2019 Women’s World Cup had on her.

I first came into contact with the world of women’s football about seven years ago. Sat in my grandmother’s living room, visiting her while on vacation from school, I was watching Nigeria play in what I now know to be the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. At that time, I had earnest dreams of becoming a professional footballer and was in awe of this tall, gifted, Nigerian girl who happened to be the same age as me – Asisat Oshoala. I thought to myself, “Wow, we’re the same age and she’s playing for her country and she’s really good! If she can do it, so can I”.

Fast forward seven years later and although I am not a professional footballer, I am very much involved in football. I produce and co-host a women’s football podcast and currently starting this new role writing about the game I love.

In November last year, the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations was held in my home country Ghana and I got to experience my first-ever women’s football tournament “in the flesh”. I got to watch Ghana’s Black Queens right in the stadium for the very first time and saw some of the continent’s stars such as Asisat Oshoala, Janine Van Wyk, Thembi Kgatlana and Gabrielle Onguene.


To see these strong, capable, amazing athletes whom I’d watched on TV and online and read about was incredible and got me pumped up for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup (FIFAWWC).

This year’s edition was billed by the media as the biggest and probably the most important one yet. It HAD to be a success as conversations surrounding and calls for equal pay, increased coverage, visibility and accessibility and increased investment had everything riding on it. The future of the game depended on it.

I think it’s safe to say the FIFAWWC was a huge success: 62 broadcasters secured rights to the tournament (as compared to 37 in 2015, however, it might be prudent to keep in mind that rights to the women’s tournament are bundled up with the men’s,) with the competition being available to watch in 200-plus countries; record viewing figures in the UK (28.1 million watched the tournament via the BBC), Brazil (35 million tuned into Brazil vs. France via Globo TV), China (4.9 million watched the final on CCTV 5) and elsewhere; media buzz around the competition was also on an absolute high with so many stories surrounding every aspect of the showpiece that it was very hard for me to keep up with them (I still have bookmarked articles I’m yet to read!).

This FIFAWWC was the first I have followed very closely and completely immersed myself in. Luckily, I didn’t have any pressing work responsibilities as I was working with an NGO on a part-time basis which gave me time to enjoy the tournament in all its glory.

I watched all 52 games bar two maybe, and had quite a wonderful time on Twitter talking about the competition and all its awesome moments and drama (*cough* VAR *cough*) with friends and fellow passionate fans of the women’s game. I even changed my twitter display name a couple of times throughout the competition to reflect my mood at any given time and show just how much I was enjoying the tournament.

Here’s a few: #FIFAWWC on my mind, Christiane Endler is my Spirit Animal, LFG #USWNT, #USWNT Goals Galore, Asisat Oshoala is my Twinny, No More Own Goals Please, Let’s Go Banyana!, Cameroooooon!, USWNT don’t let me down and #USWNT the love is deep. As you can probably tell, I’m a huge fan of the USWNT.

The level of technical ability and competitiveness displayed by these incredible athletes was breathtaking to watch. There were veterans of the game and youngsters now breaking onto the big stage. There were intriguing conversations on equal pay, the sustainability of the game and making the most of the momentum of the once-every-four-years competition in growing the game.

At the end of it all, the message I garnered from the FIFAWWC is that women’s football is indeed simply football. It is 11 players against 11 players battling it out for the win. It is a game that transcends boundaries and limitations and challenges the status quo. It is a game that, even with its numerous and sometimes appalling flaws, can spark discourse that can lead to much needed social change. It is a game that continues to inspire people, whoever they may be, to chase their dreams, whatever they may be.

It is the beautiful game we all love, and sometimes hate to love.

Words by Ewurama Kakraba-Ampeh. Artwork by FATC staff. All rights reserved.

Ewurama’s FATC column will be posted on the first Friday of every month.

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