Durban will be the proud host of the 2021 TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League COSAFA Qualifier from August 26 to September 4.
The coastal city is home to the world-class Moses Mabhida Stadium and has long been a hot bed of football with several the South Africa’s leading male and female players having emerged from the region.
“We are delighted that Durban has shown its commitment to women’s football with the staging of our crucial TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League COSAFA Qualifier,” says COSAFA General Secretary Sue Destombes.
“This competition serves not only as an historic first club tournament for COSAFA but is also the qualifier for the inaugural TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League that will be staged in Cairo later this year.
“Our plans for a COSAFA Women’s Champions League have been long in the making and we are delighted to have found such a world-class host as Durban for us to launch this new era in our football.”
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Hlengiwe Mavimbela, says the timing of the competition is perfect.
“What makes this more exciting is that the CAF Women’s Champions League qualifiers are taking place during Women’s Month in South Africa, which puts a spotlight on the development of women in sports,” says Mavimbela.
EThekwini Municipality Mayor, Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda, echoed those thoughts and said they are excited to be the first Southern African city to host a TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League COSAFA Qualifier.
“Hosting this qualifier will not only demonstrate our proven track record of hosting international events, but also our commitment to the development of women’s football,” Kaunda says.
“It is also no coincidence that we are hosting this qualifier during the Women’s Month and during the year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, who fought for gender equality and emancipation of women.”
The 2021 TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League COSAFA Qualifier will see seven teams from around the region compete in two groups, with the top two sides in each pool advancing to the semifinals. The trophy winner will also book their ticket to Cairo.
South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies are the seeded side in Group A, and will take on Lesotho Defence Force, Double Action Ladies from Botswana, and Eswatini’s Manzini Wanderers.
Zambian side Green Buffaloes are the seeds in the three-team Group B and have been drawn alongside Black Rhinos Queens of Zimbabwe and TURA Magic from Namibia.
By Wonga Sirayi
FARPost’s KZN Reporter