Hailing from Uganda Jean Sseninde has been appointed by the South Sudan Football Association to assist and oversee its 4-year women’s football strategy.
She feels that the country needs to overcome multiple barriers before allowing females to participate in the game. The first and foremost being persuading and encouraging girls to actively play the sport.
The nation also faces problems of poverty and poor infrastructure making it difficult to provide state of the art equipment. Most of the times it is hard to arrange transportation for the players to move during matches.
She shared that women playing football is still a sensitive topic and not something that is discussed very openly as some people are still narrow-minded and believe that they are better being married off and taking care of their families.
However Jean is hopeful and determined to work in collaboration with the SSFA. She expressed that together we shall stand strong and united against all kinds of prejudice and bias prevailing in the region. The SSFA has taken the initiative to offer coaching sessions and focus on team building programs that will prove to be beneficial for the team in the long run.
In 2012 South Sudan became the 209th team to join FIFA and its Men’s Team bagged itself an achievement by playing in the World Cup.
In 2019 the Women’s National Football Team took part in its first international tournament bagged a five to nil win against Zanzibar and defeated Burundi by three goals to zero.
President Francis Amin commented that the federation needs to plan women’s football in a systematic and scientific manner and do all that is necessary to become the leading football team in the south and place higher in the FIFA rankings.
Jean expressed that there is a lot of talent, all it needs is to be worked on and polished to enhance their skills and abilities. She said, “I tell you there’s a lot of hope for the team to be the best in East Africa, just give it a few years.” She reasoned that in order to emerge victorious that communication is key and involving everyone is essential.
She is sure that the new strategies devised will work wonders. Once they are given access to facilities and given full-time training, everything will start to falls in place. The team is looking for a chance to make a mark in women’s football and is eagerly anticipating the time they will be able to showcase their tricks and techniques to the world.