Bay FC break women’s football transfer record to sign striker Kunhananji

Zambia forward Racheal Kundananji becomes the most expensive female footballer as she signs for US side Bay FC.

Racheal Kundananji
Racheal Kundananji was part of the Zambia team that played at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 [David Rowland/Reuters]

Zambia forward Racheal Kundananji has become the most expensive player in the history of women’s football after signing for National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) expansion team Bay FC.

The US club, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, signed the 23-year-old from Spanish club Madrid CFF for a fee of $788,000.

Bay FC will play in the NWSL for the first time this year, becoming the league’s 14th team. The regular season starts on March 16.

The deal also represents the first time an African player, male or female, has broken a world transfer record.

Kundananji has signed a four-year contract with an option for a fifth year with the signing coming just two weeks after Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala, who won the African Footballer of the Year award for the sixth time in December, signed from Barcelona.

‘A natural ability to score’

Kundananji played for Zambia in last year’s Women’s World Cup. Overall, she has 10 goals in 18 games with her national team.

She scored 33 goals in 43 Liga F games since joining Madrid CFF in 2022.

“Racheal has a composure in front of goal and a natural ability to score with different types of finishes and from various locations,” Bay FC general manager Lucy Rushton said in a statement.

“We believe she will continue to grow and develop at our club, showcasing her skillset and adding to the array of exciting attacking talent we have here.”

Kundananji arrived at Madrid CFF from Sociedad Deportiva Eibar and quickly became one of the club’s top players.

“[She] improved with our club to become a great forward and we hope for the best in her next professional adventure,” the Spanish club said. “Madrid CFF once again demonstrates that it is one of the best clubs in attracting and incubating talent and will continue working with that goal in the future.”

Kundananji’s arrival with the team is pending the approval of her visa and international transfer certificate.

The transfer tops the reported fee of nearly $500,000 that Chelsea paid last month to Spanish club Levante for Maya Ramirez.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies