Fifa’s Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman has praised Cosafa for its constant investment in women’s football.
Bareman was in Durban at the weekend to attend the final of the inaugural Caf Cosafa Women’s Champions League qualifiers, sharing the world governing body’s vision for the future of the women’s game with Fifa secretary-general Fatma Samoura.
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies hammered Black Rhinos Queens of Zimbabwe 3-0 in the final to book their spot in the Champions League finals and Bareman believes “the gap between South Africa and elite women’s football is so narrow.”
“We would like [to encourage] the whole country to support South Africa to close that gap further. But we need more investment. We might not generate the revenue that the men’s game does, but we have seen what the girls are capable of doing when they belong to big clubs. My plea is to get more investment from corporations in the Cosafa region.”
Bareman is in full support of Samoura’s views and said that Fifa has big plans for the women’s game.
“Women’s football is a top priority at Fifa. For us, it is about investment. We have 211 member associations around the world, and it is very important that with the support we offer to those countries, there is ring-fenced funding that is specifically for women’s football,” said Bareman.
“In addition to funding, we also assist our member associations with development programmes like coaching and administration, and Women in Football leadership capacity building.
“We are trying to tackle each facet of the ecosystem in the women’s game. We have a long way to go, and it is important to grow in a sustainable way and that we have a clear strategy.”
“I love the work that Cosafa is doing for women’s football. They are one of the regions that we have seen has been consistently investing in the women’s game. It is a wonderful region and example for women’s football.”
According to Bareman, the main goal is to ensure that women’s football is in the mainstream. “We want to see more women in leadership positions, these sorts of things should be normalised.
“And we can only do that by growing at grassroots [level] and to get more people participating, but also investing at the top level,” she concluded.
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By FARPost Reporter