I’m a big supporter of women’s football in Mzansi and because of that I engage in many conversations with colleagues (in football) and friends about the lack of growth and other things in when it comes to it.
I was so heartbroken to find out recently that Absa have pulled out as sponsors of the Under 19 women’s league. Well this league, like the Sasol league is responsible for feeding the senior (national squad) and other national teams like the Under 20’s and Under 17’s.
Now this worries me because that might mean we might only be left with one sponsored (running) league, in turn that will mean we will have a smaller pool to pick from in terms of getting players for our national teams.
What could Safa be doing wrong that our women’s football structure is not becoming strong? One, not giving enough focus on women’s football. Whenever Banyana Banyana or Amantombazane have an international match, we’d only hear about it a few days before the said match unlike in the male’s team. There is hype made around that match, the state of the tickets sale and the actual squad announcements.
Now, for Banyana matches, which are free, that hype never happens. Which means there will be very few spectators and then the sponsors don’t get ‘publicity’.
Who must we blame when sponsors bail out? The players? Well, Banyana aren’t doing that bad. They came out as runners up at the African Women’s Championship (AWC), which is the equivalent of the Afcon, which Bafana were knocked out of the quarter finals. No, don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to compare the two in terms of achievements and all but what I’m saying is there is a lot that can be done to improve the state of our women’s football and hopefully impress enough and qualify for the next women’s World Cup in 2015 in Canada.