As part of their development strategy, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) have announced that a plan to launch a Women’s League in 2021 is in motion.
The announcement was made on Tuesday at the CAF Executive Committee meeting via video-conference. However, the continent’s governing body cancelled the 2020 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations “due to challenging conditions”, much to the disappointment of women’s football fans.
CAF stated that the format and other details of the maiden 2021 CAF Women’s League will be communicated in due course.
The news of the creation of the continental women’s club competition were met with mixed reactions with the SA Football Association (SAFA) praising CAF’s decision while Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies midfielder Morifi Chuene believes it will be difficult for “9-5 players” who will likely struggle to balance the demands of continental club football and their full-time jobs.
“This will be a major boost for SAFA’s National Women’s League (SNWL) and for women’s football in general in our country. I also would like to pay tribute to SASOL for their support of women’s football over the last 10 years.
“These milestones for SNWL and CAF Club Champions League could not have been realised without SASOL’s huge support,” said the SAFA Acting CEO Tebogo Motlanthe
Meanwhile, Chuene hopes that women’s football will be professionalised in the country with the start of the SAFA Women’s National League (SWNL) being a glimpse of light in a dark tunnel in women’s football.
“Playing on Sunday and going to work on a Monday is not pap and vleis. We have to be professionalised.
“Imagine having to play a league game and continental league game all in one week and have to go to work Monday to Friday it’s impossible,” added the Sundowns midfielder.
@CAF_Online how many female clubs have the resources of traveling around the continent? Please this will be very difficult in my opinion to achieve in Africa.
— emo (@micheal_ekele) June 30, 2020
SAFA’s chair of the Women’s Football Committee, Emma Hendricks, and Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis are both excited with the creation of a club women’s competition in Africa.
“This is a huge boost for women’s football in general and I believe this will make our national teams more competitive,” said Hendricks.
You know Chuene I wanted to comment about how this exciting "fancy" is warmly received but the foundation is non-existent, but I held back. I decided not to be that girl.
I guess the decision makers took it that top down approach would be perfect… So many gaps though
— Christa Kgamphe (@ChrissieLola) July 1, 2020
Ellis said by participating on the continent, women’s football in the country will go a notch up.
“This can only help our national teams to grow from strength to strength and I would like to wish inaugural champions Mamelodi Sundowns all the best,” said Ellis.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi