Liberia women's national football team

The Liberia women's national football team is the women's national team representing the country in international competitions. They have played in five FIFA recognised matches.

AssociationLiberia Football Association
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
Sub-confederationWAFU (West Africa)
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
CurrentNR (13 December 2019)[1]
Highest92 (2009)
Lowest148 (September 2015)
First international
 Liberia 0–3 Ethiopia 
(Monrovia; 18 February 2007)
Biggest defeat
 Liberia 0−7 Ghana 
(Accra; 27 February 2011)

Background and development

The kind of football we have seen here shows that women football can no longer be regarded as novelty. I am proud to be a woman, watching these ladies display skill and ability that are even rare to see in the men's game. My call is to governments and big companies in Africa to grant women's football more support. If the men are going anywhere to play, the government will find the money. But when it is the women, you see them talking about lack of funds. When our national U-20 team was to play Algeria in the Fifa World Cup qualifiers, the government said they didn't have any money. But I went to Fifa and got them to fund our trip. But after we beat Algeria and then drew with Nigeria in the first leg of the last round of qualifiers, suddenly everyone wanted to be part of the trip to Nigeria. Suddenly the money became available for government officials to travel to Nigeria. There is a lot of insincerity in the way we deal with the women. That should be stopped.

Izetta Wesley, female football administrator[2]

Early development of the women's game at the time colonial powers brought football to the continent was limited as colonial powers in the region tended to take make concepts of patriarchy and women's participation in sport with them to local cultures that had similar concepts already embedded in them.[3] The lack of later development of the national team on a wider international level symptomatic of all African teams is a result of several factors, including limited access to education, poverty amongst women in the wider society, and fundamental inequality present in the society that occasionally allows for female specific human rights abuses.[4] When quality female football players are developed, they tend to leave for greater opportunities abroad.[5] Continent wide, funding is also an issue, with most development money coming from FIFA, not the national football association.[5] Future, success for women's football in Africa is dependent on improved facilities and access by women to these facilities. Attempting to commercialise the game and make it commercially viable is not the solution, as demonstrated by the current existence of many youth and women's football camps held throughout the continent.[3]

The national federation, Liberia Football Association, was founded in 1936. It became a FIFA affiliate in 1962.[6] Women's football is represented on the committee by specific constitutional mandate.[7] In 2009, the organisation did not have any full-time staff members specifically dedicated to assisting women's football.[7][8] Their kit includes red shirts, white shorts and red socks.[8]

Football is the most popular women's participation sport in the country.[7] A women's football programme was first organised by the national federation in the country in 1988.[9] In 2000, there were 264 registered female players in the country. In 2006, there were 277 players.[7] In 2006, there were only two women's only teams available for women to play on while there were 43 teams for men to play on.[7] By 2009, regional and national women's football competitions had been established, but no competition had been organised for UL or schools.[9] Rights to broadcast the 2011 Women's World Cup in the country were bought by the African Union of Broadcasting.[10]

Jamesetta Howard has served as the country's Minister of Youth and Sports. The national football association president was Izetta Wesley. The country's president was Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. All were women and all supported the women's national team.[5] In 2007, Izetta Wesley was named a member of the FIFA Women's Football Committee and that of FIFA Women's World Cup, with her term starting in 2008. She has also served as the Match Commissioner of CAF and FIFA, and Vice President of the West African Football Union (WAFU).[11]

The team

In 1985, almost no country in the world had a women's national football team,[12] including Liberia who did not play in their first FIFA recognised match until February 2007[13] though the team played three non-recognised games in 2006.[7][13] National team matches have been played at Antoinette Tubman Stadium.[6]

On 18 February 2007 in a game in Monrovia, Liberia lost to Ethiopia women's national football team 0-3 after having been down 0-1 at the half.[13] On 10 March 2007 in a game in Addis Abeba, Liberia lost to Ethiopia 0-2 after being down 0-1 at the half.[13] In 2010, the country did not have a team competing in the African Women's Championships.[14] The country did not have a team competing at the 2011 All Africa Games.[15] On 13 February 2011 in a game in Monrovia, Liberia lost to Ghana by a score of 0-4.[13] On 27 February 2011 in a game in Accra, Liberia lost to Ghana 0-7.[13]

Liberia's international ranking improved in the late 2000s before falling in the early 2010s: in 2007, it was ranked 144; in 2008, 117; in 2009, 92; in 2010, 128; in 2011, 136;[16] and in 2012, 130, while holding 35th place in Africa.[17]


Their first draw was achieved in 2014.

DateLocationHome teamScoreAway teamSource
18/02/2007 Monrovia Liberia 0:3 (0:1) Ethiopia [13]
10/03/2007 Addis Abeba Ethiopia 2:0 (1:0) Liberia [13]
13/02/2011 Monrovia Liberia 0:4 Ghana [13]
27/02/2011 Accra Ghana 7:0 Liberia [13]
8 March 2014 Makeni  Sierra Leone 0:0 Liberia [13]

Other national teams

U17 team

In 2006, there was no FIFA recognised youth national team.[7] They participated in the African Women U-17 Championship 2008. In the preliminary round, they were supposed to play Benin but Benin withdrew from the competition. In the first round, they were supposed to play Nigeria but they withdrew from the competition.[18][19]

U19/U20 team

In 2006, there was no FIFA recognised youth national team.[7] Between 2002-2010 in the FIFA Women U19/U20 World Cup, a U19 event up until 2006 when it became U20, the country participated in the qualifying tournament.[20]

The country participated in the African Women U-20 Championship 2006. They were supposed to play Guinea in Round 1 but Guinea withdrew from the tournament. In Round 2, they played their first match in Algeria, where they won 3-2. Algeria withdrew from the tournament before playing in the return match in Liberia. They met Nigeria in the quarterfinals, tying 1-1 in one match, before losing 1-9 in the second.[21]

Homeless World Cup team

In 2008, a national team represented the country at the Homeless World Cup. In the opening round robin round where they finished second, they beat Cameroon 16-1, beat Colombia 8-5, lost to Zambia 1-4, beat Paraguay 4-1, beat Uganda 7-2, beat Kyrgyzstan 7-3, and beat Australia 14-3. In the semi-final, they tied Colombia 1-1, and won 1-0 in penalty kicks. They lost to Zambia 1-7 in the final.[22]

Amputee Football team

A woman's team from the country has competed at the 2011 Cup of African Nations for Amputee Football. In 2011, they played Ghana in a friendly in Monrovia, Liberia in the lead up to the competition.[23]


  1. "The FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking". FIFA. 13 December 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  2. Olajire, Ademola (November 5, 2006). "Vanguard (Nigeria) - AAGM: Wesley Canvasses Greater Support for Women Football". Vanguard. Lagos, Nigeria. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  3. Peter Alegi (2 March 2010). African Soccerscapes: How a Continent Changed the World's Game. Ohio University Press. ISBN 978-0-89680-278-0. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  4. Jean Williams (15 December 2007). A Beautiful Game: International Perspectives on Women's Football. Berg. p. 186. ISBN 978-1-84520-674-1. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  5. Gabriel Kuhn (24 February 2011). Soccer Vs. the State: Tackling Football and Radical Politics. PM Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-60486-053-5. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  6. "Goal! Football: Liberia" (PDF). FIFA. 21 April 2009. p. 1. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  7. FIFA (2006). "Women's Football Today" (PDF): 115. Retrieved 17 April 2012. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. Pickering, David (1994). The Cassell soccer companion : history, facts, anecdotes. London: Cassell. p. 182. ISBN 0304342319. OCLC 59851970.
  9. "Goal! Football: Liberia" (PDF). FIFA. 21 April 2009. p. 4. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  10. "FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011TM Media Rights Licensees" (PDF). FIFA. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  11. Johnson, Julu M. (September 24, 2007). "The News (Nigeria) - AAGM: LFA Boss Gets International Posts". The News. Nigeria. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  12. Chrös McDougall (1 January 2012). Soccer. ABDO. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-61783-146-1. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  13. "Liberia: Fixtures and Results". Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  14. "Fixtures — African Women Championship 2010 - CAF". Archived from the original on 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  15. "Groups & standings — All Africa Games women 2011 - CAF". Archived from the original on 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  16. "Liberia: FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". Retrieved 2012-04-15.
  17. "The FIFA Women's World Ranking". 25 September 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  18. "African Women U-17 Championship 2008". 2011-02-25. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  19. "Regulations — CAN U-17 women 2010 - CAF". Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  20. "Women U-19/U-20 World Cup". 2011-01-21. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  21. "African Women U-20 Championship 2006". 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  22. "Homeless Football World Cup". Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  23. "The Feminine Side Of Amputee Football | Soccer News 2012-04-13". Retrieved 2012-04-14.
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