Morocco World Cup Credit: Fox Sports

While many American fans have shared their disappointment over the way their team played in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup so far, it has been an absolutely positive experience for the nations of Africa.

Nigeria, South Africa, and Morocco all made it to the knockout round of the tournament in Australia and New Zealand, which makes it the first time that three African teams have made it this far.

Zambia almost made it four with a strong showing but wasn’t able to overcome Japan and Spain in their group.

Still, it’s a pretty impressive run and signals a change in the air. For many fans, it also signals an important step in being able to see athletes that look like them competing at the highest level.

“It’s been wonderful to watch how my own children are experiencing this tournament. It’s opening their eyes to how this game can shape — and be shaped by — global concerns,” author Aimee Phan wrote in a CNN opinion column.

“Seeing players who look like you matters. It inspires young children to realize they can play too. I remember watching ice skaters Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan winning medals during the Winter Olympics, and my father would loudly fantasize how that could be me. It was an irrational hope, but still a hope. A fantastical dream that anything is possible because these athletes had proven it.”

It’s a great time for diverse backgrounds in the world of women’s soccer. Hopefully one or two of those teams are able to make a deep run in the World Cup and really change the status quo.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to