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Young women flourishing in football in Benin

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Benin

Yvette Saizonou is turning heads at just 17 years of age at UMSA women's team in the Beninese capital Cotonou.

On the pitch she's impressing with her passing, shooting and other football skills, while off the pitch she hopes the Benin government will soon start supporting women's football as much as men's.

Saizonou hopes to train hard enough to emulate her idols Asisat Oshoela, Marta, and Marie Antoinette Katoto.

She dreams of being a professional player and representing her country and she is not the only one, with her teammates sharing similar aspirations, backed solidly by their coach.

Yvette's opportunities have been possible thanks largely to the Miokpehou project, which was created with the aim to allow young women to improve their football and life skills through sport.

Some women through the program have gone on to play for Benin as well as internationally.

For the Benin government it has become a duty to allow school-aged girls who are abandoned or victims of violence to be able to go to school, to train and to be able to flourish through football as well as other sports.

Benin has also signed a partnership with FIFA that has created a school tournament in the region which recently saw 12 Beninese women's teams participate in an event in Ghana.

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