Working as the women’s football correspondent or reporter for my former newspaper has helped me build relations with a couple of female footballers, some of the best in the country I say. And whenever I get to chat with them, not on record, we always get to the point of a professional league. Seem, these ladies don’t really get enough competition among themselves. The only time they compete is during the Absa Women’s League, which caters for Under 19s and the Sasol National league. The problem with these two leagues is that they only run for a short while throughout the year.
Unlike their male counterparts, they only compete once a year and only then do the national squad scouts get a chance to watch and select players for the national team. Now, I think this is a disadvantage to the country and the players themselves as they don’t get enough time to showcase what they are capable of. This then leads, I think, to the failure of our women’s team on the world stage.
When Abantwana qualified for the Under 17 World Cup in Germany in 2010, this seemed like a breakthrough for women’s football in the country. But when we were whooped 10-1 by Germany, that was a sign that there is still so much to improve our women’s football.
Banyana Banyana fought very hard to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. When they beat the Ethiopians 6-2 on aggregate, this meant our girls have a fighting spirit. But that was just an African country ranked only number 34 in the CAF rankings. Unfortunately, they were drawn against top ranked teams in the world. And yes, they didn’t do that great.
Now, what is the country or the football association doing to improve the standard of our football that we don’t get embarrassed on the world stages? Could there have been something done between the two years that we’ve qualified for these big tournaments?
I believe so. But so far, how much of improvements have been made? Nothing much really. South Africa needs to uphold all of our football teams the same way. Bafana is just as important as Banyana, so are the other national teams.