Thembi Kgatlana - Morocco will soon be the dominant force in African women's football

Racing Louisville's Thembi Kgatlana praises the USA's soccer culture (2:02)

South Africa striker Thembi Kgatlana, who will play for Racing Louisville this NWSL season, loves the US Soccer's focus on girls at a youth level. (2:02)

South Africa and Racing Louisville FC forward Thembi Kgatlana has tipped Morocco to become the dominant force in African women's football, unless South Africa develops a professional league and technical centre.

While South Africa are the current Women's Africa Cup of Nations champions, they had to get past hosts Morocco in the final last year, and Kgatlana was blown away by the facilities, and talent development in the north African country.

Moroccan women's football has advanced in leaps and bounds in recent years. Aside from reaching the WAFCON final on home soil, ASFAR subsequently dethroned Mamelodi Sundowns as African club champions.

Furthermore, in 2020, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation announced the creation of a women's professional league with two tiers, and the results have been worth the investment.

READ: Thembi Kgatlana amazed by US Soccer's focus on girls' football

When asked if she envisioned Morocco leapfrogging South Africa to become the dominant force on the continent, Kgatlana told ESPN: "That's how I feel, to be honest.

"There are two things that stand out or are challenging. Number one: Morocco went to the final. They were not in the WAFCON for a very long time and when they come, they go straight to the final.

"The second one is, the first time they got into a Champions League, then they went out. The following year, they went on to win it. It shows that everything that has been laid for them at club level, and international level is giving them the rewards that they need.

"I'm telling you, if no country has taken that into consideration and [is] acting upon getting those structures in, Morocco is going to be a powerhouse whether we like it or not, because they are in the right direction of making sure they empower the women's game in their country."

Banyana Banyana have several players abroad, including Kgatlana, Refiloe Jane, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Linda Motlhalo, Noxolo Cesane and Ode Fulutudilu, their top flight, the HollywoodBets Super League, is only semi-professional.

Kgatlana said that South Africa needed the proper investment into women's and girls' football, adding: "We need to have better facilities. We need to have a technical centre. If we do not have the professional leagues, we need the technical centre.

"It was an eye-opener actually to be in Morocco and to see the technical centre they have and to see how just in a short period of time, they [made the WAFCON] final.

"I don't think anyone could have predicted that, but the fact that they have facilities and have resources - it's the right direction. They are also trying to venture into having a professional league. A lot of countries in Africa don't have that, including South Africa.

"That's where I feel that we could target those things - if we could have technical centres, we don't have to go to Europe to camp. We could be in our countries.

"It's also not about how much money we get, but like I said, the resources and the environment created for women's football everywhere in Africa to make sure that they perform.

"If you have that ready from a grassroots level, everything would be easier. The money would come because women's football generates its own money."

Kgatlana will be playing for Racing Louisville in the new National Women's Soccer League season, which starts March 25.