Mauritania women's national football team

Mauritania women's national football team has not played a single FIFA recognised match. Women's football is not supported by the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and there are few opportunities for women to play the sport.

AssociationFootball Federation of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
Head coachAbdallahi Diallo
FIFA ranking
CurrentNR (13 December 2019)[1]

The team

In 1985, almost no country in the world had a women's national football team,[2] including Mauritania who did not play in a single FIFA sanctioned match between 1950 and June 2012.[3] The country did not have a FIFA recognised national senior or junior team in 2006,[4] and was unchanged in 2009.[5] In 2010, the country did not have a team competing in the African Women's Championships during the preliminary rounds.[6] The country did not have a team competing at the 2011 All Africa Games.[7] In March 2012, the team was not ranked in the world by FIFA.[8]


The national association, the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, was founded in 1961 and became a FIFA affiliate in 1964.[4][9] Women's football is not represented by rule in the federation and they do not employee anyone specifically to look after women's football.[4] The federation has not participated in any FIFA sanctioned training courses for women's football.[5] Most of the funding for women's football in the country and for the women's national team comes from FIFA, not the national football association.[10]

Background and development

Football is the second most popular women's sport in the country, behind basketball which is number one.[4] In 2006, there were 100 registered female football players in the country, the first time such numbers were tracked.[4] Opportunities for play are limited as there are only four women's football teams in the country, women's football is not organised at schools, and mixed football is not allowed.[4]

The lack of development of the national team on a wider international level is symptomatic of wider problems on the continent, including limited access to education, poverty amongst women in the wider society, and fundamental inequality present in the society (especially present in Muslim-majority religious state countries, Mauritania being one such country) that occasionally allows for female-specific human rights abuses.[11] 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.[12] Continent wide, if quality female football players do develop, they leave for greater opportunities abroad.[10] 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 is not the solution, as demonstrated by the many youth and women's football camps held on the continent.[12]


  1. "The FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking". FIFA. 13 December 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  2. Chrös McDougall (1 January 2012). Soccer. ABDO. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-61783-146-1. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  3. "Mauritania : Fixtures and Results". FIFA. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  4. FIFA (2006). "Women's Football Today" (PDF): 128. Retrieved 17 April 2012. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. "Goal! Football: Mauritania" (PDF). FIFA. 21 April 2009. p. 4. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  6. "Fixtures - African Women Championship 2010 - CAF". Archived from the original on 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  7. "Groups & standings - All Africa Games women 2011 - CAF". Archived from the original on 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  8. "The FIFA Women's World Ranking". 2009-09-25. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  9. "Goal! Football: Mauritania" (PDF). FIFA. 21 April 2009. p. 1. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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