Boca Juniors crush River Plate to win Argentina’s first professional women’s championship
Boca Juniors defeated River Plate in the final of Argentina’s first-ever Professional Women’s Championship, beating fierce rivals 7-0 to crown the 2020/21 “Transition Tournament”.
Boca were already Argentina’s most successful women’s club, with 23 titles won in the amateur era before 2020. However, the Argentine National Federation (AFA) presented a new strategy for women’s football last fall, which included one entry for 12 players in each team. be under a professional contract.
In November, a shortened version of the Campeonato de Futbol Femenino was held to usher in the new era, known as the “transition tournament” from amateur to professional.
Reestablishing her dominance after finishing second for four years in a row, before the coronavirus pandemic forced the abandonment of the 2019/20 season, Boca emerged in the lead to open the new chapter and professional era of women’s football in Argentina. .
Veteran stars Andrea Ojeda and Fabiana Vallejos both doubled in the final, with Clarisa Huber, Yamila Rodriguez and national team star Lorena Benitez also on the scoresheet.
History of women’s football in Argentina
The AFA has previously been criticized for a lack of investment in women’s football and the national team effectively ceased to exist for a brief period as recently as 2016.
Failure to qualify for the 2015 World Cup in Canada led to the AFA cutting all funds and there was no money to keep the team going. As a result, over two years ago, Argentinian women did not play a single match and then lost their FIFA rankings.
Even when they got the money to continue, it wasn’t enough. Players were entitled to the equivalent of £ 7 for training costs, but these payments did not arrive on time and there was often little or no budget for accommodation or travel which meant long journeys and arduous towards the matches.
The national team players finally went on strike in 2017 and presented their demands to the AFA, which included only the most basic things like access to proper facilities to train and play.
Although still fighting for equality, the 2019 World Cup was a defining moment for Argentina. They exceeded their targets, eliminating their opener against 2011 world champion Japan – their very first World Cup game that didn’t end in a loss – before a resolute performance in a narrow loss to the England and a late return to draw 3-3 against Scotland. They conceded just four goals in three games, up from 18 in 2007 and 15 in 2003, and have not finished bottom of the group.
AFA has finally taken more action to properly support the growth, development and sustainability of women’s football in Argentina and the five-year strategy which covers the period 2021 to 2025 also requires top-level clubs to have fewer 19 years old, under 16 years old and Teams under 14 years old by 2023, and increase to 15 players in professional contract.
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