Governmentality and Gender Equality Politics in African Women’s Football: A Discourse Analysis of Selected Media Texts

African women are increasingly participating in football at top levels such as the European and North American women’s football leagues, the Summer Olympic Games, and the Women’s World Cup finals. As more and more African women enter the local and global football circuits, football authorities in the continent are faced with the challenge of promoting gender equality. This raises the questions: How are gender equality issues understood, experienced and politicized by African women footballers? What gendered notions, norms and rationality are invoked, evoked, normalized, reproduced and dispersed in the football governance techniques, regulations, practices and official rhetoric in the selected locales?   Recognizing the notion of gender equality as a contested concept, and using Foucauldian and intersectional feminist lenses, this paper analyses selected online media texts (interviews, narratives, testimonies, news reports, policy documents) in English for governmentality and gender equality discourses relating to the top four African women’s football teams: Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon,  Black Queens of Ghana, Super Falcons of Nigeria and Banyana Banyana of South Africa. The paper contributes to the comparative literature on women football governance (dis)order and resistance, and their implications for policy.