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Colombia: South American power in women's football without a professional league

Despite the limited support, Colombian players in both clubs and national teams continue to reap important achievements.

Players of the Colombian women's soccer team

Photo: TW-FCFSeleccionCol

Latinamerican Post | Juan Felipe Rengifo González

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Leer en español: Colombia: potencia sudamericana en fútbol femenino sin liga profesional

The last week of October 2022 may be one of the most relevant in the history of Colombian soccer. On the one hand, the U-17 team reached the World Cup final in India, while América de Cali and Deportivo Cali achieved third and fourth place in the Women's Copa Libertadores played in Ecuador. An excellent balance, despite not having a regular tournament or the support of the leadership.

The soccer players of the 'Cafetero' country are true examples of professionalism, patriotism, and love for the shirt. The 'Powerpuff Girls' have qualified for all the world championships in the category, starting with the sub-20 in Costa Rica where they were leaders of their group and managed to advance to the quarterfinals. In the U-17 World Cup in India, which ended on Sunday, those led by Carlos Paniagua reached the final, a stage in which no team had reached FIFA competitions.

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Regarding the senior team, the girls were finalists of the Copa América Colombia 2022, which allowed them to get a place in the World Cup of the category that will be played in Australia and New Zealand next year, additionally, they also secured a place for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024, which gives them the chance to fight for the gold medal.

The personification of what Colombian women's football lives is Linda Caicedo, at just 17 years old, she played in the U-20 and U-17 World Cups, led the senior team in the Copa América, being chosen the best player in the competition, and one of the scorers. The talent of the one born in Candelaria Valle has no ceiling and the big clubs in the world are already fighting to have her talent and her goals

If that is the panorama of the national teams, the case of the clubs is practically traced, despite the fact that women do not have a consolidated professional league, they are protagonists in the international tournaments that they play, a specific case, the Copa Libertadores. The two participating Colombian teams, América and Deportivo Cali reached the semifinal of the 2022 edition, where the 'Escarlata' team beat the 'Azucarero' team 5-0, which allowed them to achieve third place.

And it is that the difference at the leadership level compared to other federations is notorious and leaves Colombian managers very badly off. If we compare the competitions that the Spanish soccer players had with respect to the Colombian ones, the difference is very wide. In the Iberian country, there is a professional soccer league with 16 teams that develop their dates throughout the year, as well as the dispute for the Copa de la Reina and different regional tournaments of training categories.

The same happens in Brazil, the current champion of the women's Copa Libertadores with Palmeiras, in the neighboring country the players play state tournaments with the 12 most important teams in each region and the Brasilerao, where the 16 best teams in the country compete.

Colombian soccer cries out for a structural and leadership change, things are not being done well in any way, and the happiness generated by women is the product of individual efforts or private enterprise. We hope that the resounding triumphs of our 'Powerpuff Girls' will allow us to turn around this difficult scenario, structuring a competitive league and providing a decent salary, the long-awaited titles will come.