Thousands of miles away from that grassroots reality, there are three African countries at the Women's World Cup in France -- Nigeria, South Africa, and Cameroon.
And as former Nigerian national team player, Ayisat Yusuf-Aromire watches the current Super Falcons team take center stage at the tournament, she is painfully aware of how women's football has often been relegated to the back seat with bonuses and allowances unpaid.
Now a coach at FC Pohu club in Finland, Yusuf-Aromire says even though some progress has been made, the Nigerian men's team still enjoys far better privileges than the women's.
"Men get better treatment for everything -- camping allowances, salaries, wages, and welfare packages," she told CNN.
The ex-footballer, who played defense for Nigeria's national team, still has unhappy memories of the 2004 African Women's Championship (now the Africa Women Cup of Nations), organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Yusuf-Aromire, 34, remembers staging a sit-in protest with her teammates in South Africa after winning the championship. "We defeated Cameroon 5-0 in the finals, winning the title. But Nigeria's Football Federation refused to pay us our bonuses and pending allowances, claiming they did not have any money," she told CNN.
"We did not trust them to pay us in Nigeria, so we refused to leave our hotel in South Africa till they paid us," she added.
CNN contacted the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) for comment but has not yet received a response.
Late payments for footballers of both sexes are a chronic problem on the continent, but pay disparities between male and female players are even more prevalent.
South Africa's Times Live reported earlier this year that the national women's team -- Banyana Banyana -- were paid 10 times less than the men's side, Bafana Bafana.
"This will go a long way towards closing the pay gap between the men and women footballers in this country, and it is a happy day for South African football" the country's Football Association President Danny Jordaan is quoted as saying in the report.
It's noteworthy that none of the highest paid female footballers in the world are African players.
The enormous pay gap in the African game can partly be attributed to poor handling of female football teams by their sports associations, says Samuel Ahmadu, a member of the women's committee for the NFF (Nigeria Football Federation).
"Marketing and promotion have not been enough for these women and their teams. If there is no consistency in promoting them, then there will be little attention for their tournaments and games," he told CNN.
Football tournament sponsors typically pay attention to teams that enjoy large viewership. Women's teams in Africa struggle to attract sponsors for their games due to poor publicity, says Ahmadu.
Twenty-five countries in Africa including Ghana, Cameroon, and South Africa have professional women's leagues at home, but minimal sponsorship opportunities and prizes mean that most players have to balance the game with other work commitments, says Ahmadu.
Besides the divides in pay, sponsorship, and marketing, Africa's female players have to contend with discrimination on and off the pitch.
Lolade Adewuyi, a chief strategist for the Nigerian sports communications company CampsBay Media, says there are sexist cultural beliefs that encourage prejudice against women in sports on the continent.
"There are obvious cultural barriers for women getting into sports. While the boys are allowed to go play out in the neighborhood, girls have to help in the house," he said.
"Boys are conditioned from an early age to see sports as a way of proving their masculinity while many girls are conditioned differently," Adewuyi added.
Yusuf-Aromire also admits fighting patriarchy at many levels to get to where she is today. "To play football, I had to sneak out of the house. I used to get punished for just playing. At a point I had to stand up for myself because I didn't have the support of my family," she said.
Women football players also face abuse and derogatory remarks while on the pitch.
Despite the harassment encountered by some female players on the continent, there are signs of hope for the women's game on the horizon.
CAF, the Confederation of African Football, is making bold steps towards investing in women's football.
There are also plans to launch an African Women's Champions League, according to Yasmine Arkoub, co-founder of sports consulting firm, Melting Sports, who says she is encouraged by the interest level from CAF in improving participation in women's football.
"I created the campaign because I thought about my upbringing. I never had parental support to play, and I want it to be different for other girls out there," she told CNN.
Yusuf-Aromire offers training for girls and provides football kits for those who can't afford them.
"There are a million girls out there who want to play football but are not being encouraged. They just need the support and access to opportunities," she said.