Why Are Black Sports Officials Silent About Inequalities In South African Sport? By Cheryl Roberts

14 Nov

Why Have Black Leaders Succumbed To Trappings Of Elite Sport?

Which black official in sport is vocal about inequalities in South African sport? Which black official/leader is challenging racial and wealth privilege in society and in sport? Which black sports official still speaks about the sites of struggle and interconnectedness of sport and society? I struggle to be aware of any such black official! But we can see which black officials have been around in sport for years, hogging international travel and positions., several of them getting lucrative bonuses.

 In our society of social inequalities, gender discrimination, racial privilege and white control, class domination, despite living in a democratic, post-apartheid oppression era, deficiencies, injustices, wrongs and inequalities must be challenged and called out across society.

The post-apartheid journey was only made ‘comfortable’ with the removal of legal unjust laws and discrimination but all inherited inequalities are very much existing and controlling interaction of society. Sport, too is a reflection of our unequal society.

Yet, despite coming from oppressed lives in apartheid South Africa, having to fight for dignity and against discrimination based on skin colour, class and gender, black sports officials in democratic-era South Africa have seemingly lost their activist and human rights voices, gone quiet and become remarkably accepting of a sports system that favours elite, wealthy and corporate sport.

There are plentiful black officials occupying positions in South African sport, from the Minister of Sport to the SASCOC President and leaders and national officials of national sports federations, particularly of corporate sports such as cricket, rugby and football.

But these black officials exhibit no social justice activism about their present involvement in sport. South African sport exists in a society of discrimination and domination, of  wealth gaps and racial discrimination and represents a society of class inequalities, class and racial privilege and gender control.

These social inequalities are very much reflected in sports structures and impact on the organisation of sport from grassroots to international representation and participation. Except for some talk and mention here and there, now and then, these inequalities, imbalances, privileges and class controls are rarely confronted and challenged. Instead, they are swept off agendas of meetings, rarely getting a mention when officialdom meets to discuss sport.

Why are you black official in sport afraid to speak out and challenge and disrupt elite control of sport when you didn’t fear apartheid’s security and repressive apparatus and you spoke out against oppression and discrimination? You have the examples of the finest principled anti-apartheid sports leaders to guide you but you, black sports official, have given up and accepted inequalities, privilege and elite control to thrive in the South African  sports network.

Nowadays sport officialdom, especially corporate backed sport has been taken over by officialdom consumed by power and money. International travel, occupying entertainment spaces in VIP suites, getting bonuses and some power here and there are what dictates a sport official’s involvement in sport.

Which black official in sport is vocal about inequalities in South African sport? Which black official/leader is challenging racial and wealth privilege in society and in sport? Which black sports official still speaks about the sites of struggle and interconnectedness of sport and society? I struggle to be aware of any such black official! But we can see which black officials have been around in sport for years, hogging international travel and positions., several of them getting lucrative bonuses.

I’m calling out black officials and leaders in sport because just the other day they were oppressed by the apartheid regime because of their skin colour. Now why have you gone quiet when you see society’s inequalities staring at you, when you know grassroots sport is supported by volunteers in working class communities, that suburban schools benefit mostly white and a minority black elite grouping of children and youth, that racial privilege benefits white people in most sports in South Africa?

Why are you so accepting of elite and wealthy control of sport in South Africa when you fought against and challenged minority power and domination? Why do you allow corporates to control sport for the benefit of profits and exposure for their business? Why have you allowed your being and involvement in sport to be captured by all the elite trappings and invitations of elite sports lifestyles, bonuses and acceptance of elite domination?

Why are you black official in sport afraid to speak out and challenge and disrupt elite control of sport when you didn’t fear apartheid’s security and repressive apparatus and you spoke out against oppression and discrimination? You have the examples of the finest principled anti-apa

8cheryl roberts  in the rain forest in ghana

Cheryl Roberts (writer of the blog)

rtheid sports leaders to guide you but you, black sports official, have given up and accepted inequalities, privilege and elite control to thrive in the South African  sports network.

You can’t say that politics must be out of sport when politics is very much in sport, all around sport and outside of sport. Sport is political. Involvement and participation in sport is political. Sport is not only about elite participation, winning global titles and medals, as much of sports officialdom would like us to believe, consume and propagate. It’s about how society’s class control, racial privilege, gender discrimination, wealth gaps impact on and affect participation and organisation of sport.

Several sports in South Africa are controlled by white privilege and reinforce whiteness. But black officials, especially allow this to prevail. Male hegemony of sport is powerful, keeps men in power in the interests of sport, yet black sports officials don’t contest and challenge this male control. Black women get a raw deal, struggle much more than white women in sport and white sportswomen but black officials don’t speak out.

Why have black officials in sport gone silent when social, class and gender inequalities, racial privilege are profound and emphatic? Have the black leaders/officials been bought over, captured by elite trappings and wealth in sport?

 

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Inaugural (2017) Western Cape Women’s Football Awards (Presented by Western Cape Sport Publication)By Cheryl Roberts

8 Nov

The women’s football season of 2017 in the Western Cape, has wrapped. League winners, cup champions, LFA champions, regional league winners and promoted teams are known. Some teams are champions, some teams improved their league positions and some teams had a disappointing season. But all would have enjoyed participating in another season of the beautiful game.

I documented, watched and gave much opinion about women’s football being played in the Western Cape, this year. I admire and respect the volunteer officials and coaches who keep the women’s football clubs and teams going throughout the season with many volunteers using their personal money and time to develop girls and women in football.

Many women footballers struggled to attend training because of work commitments and girls and women footballers in gangster-hit areas battled to get to the football field and practise when gang violence dominated their hoods. But they turned up at weekend to play the beautiful game, the sport that makes them happy.

There’s much football talent emerging at junior girl level and young women level. Some Western Cape players are getting national selection for youth and senior teams but talent is also being ignored at national level for international representation.

One of the negatives of the season was the non-payment of Sasol League grants when the season kicked off. Despite clubs being told they would receive their grants early in the season, this didn’t happen. Disgustingly, the first grants were only received in August, months after several rounds of matches leaving the mostly volunteer coaches with the burden of carrying team transport costs. Big up to all the clubs and volunteers who managed to get through the season, despite this financial setback.

This year was one of the toughest and most competitive in the regional leagues of the Western Cape and Sasol League.

Some amazing goals were scored, closely contested matches won and lost.

 

This is my Western Cape women’s football awards list for 2017, presented by my publication ‘Western Cape Sport’ and viewed through my football lens.

 

Western Cape Women’s Football Awards

Player of the Year (Western Cape women’s football)

Ode Fulutudilu (Cape Town Roses)

Top (Western Cape) Senior International Footballer of the Year

Thembi Kgatlana (UWC)

Top (Western Cape) Youth International Footballer of the Year

Lelona Daweti (Cape Town Roses)

Team of the Year

Cape Town Roses

#Coke Cup Champions

#Sasol League Champions

Coach of the Year

Coach Madikane (Cape Town Roses)

 Regional Team Of the Year

University Of Cape Town

 Under 20 Player of the Year

Lelona Daweti (Cape Town Roses)

 Under 17 Player of the Year

Noxolo and Sinoxolo Cesane (Cape Town Roses)

 Under 15 Player of the Year

Chelsea Daniels (UWC)

Under 13 Player of the Year

Litemba (Cape Town Roses)

Legendary Involvement In Women’s Football

Jeffrey Qhuma (Winnies football club)

 Best Improved Teams

Vasco and Burnley (Sasol League)

 Phenomenal Comebacks/Wins

Burnley v Cape Town Roses (Coke Cup)

Santos v Cape Town Roses (Sasol League, first round)

UWC v Cape Town Roses (Sasol League, second round)

 Amazing Moment

13 year old Litemba coming on in the first round league match Cape Town Roses v UWC and scoring the equalising goal for Cape Town Roses with two touches of the ball

 Schoolgirl Player of the Year

Sisanda Vukapi (Cape Town Roses)

Fair Play of the Year

Dangerous Heroes and Manenberg

 Youth Coach of the Year

Priscee (Cape Town Roses)

Celeste (Manenberg)

Top Team Management

University of the Western Cape

Negative Moment of the Year

Sasol League clubs receiving their grants only after the first round of league

Injustice of the Year

Western Cape under 20 players Sisanda and Kanyisa (both of Cape Town Roses) and Faadiyah (Manenberg) not getting a call up to the national u20 training camp

Burnley not receiving any grant money at all throughout the league season

My memorable moments documenting women’s football in the Western Cape in 2017

Football mothers with  children

13 year old girl footballers of Cape Town Roses

And so ends another season of the beautiful game for girls and women footballers in the Western Cape. University of Cape Town women’s football team will play in the 2018 Sasol League and cape Town Roses will represent the Western Cape at the national play-offs in December. The 2018 season is going to be much more competitive than 2017. Whatever didn’t work out for your team this year, use the knowledge, experience and information to empower your presence in the game. Enter the 2018 season with ambition and pride.

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Cape Town Roses WFC Western Cape Women’s Football ‘Team of the Year’ (pic by cheryl roberts)

 

Whiteness And White Privilege Dominates South African Women’s Hockey By Cheryl Roberts

1 Nov

IMG_9682‘SA’s Black woman international hockey player Sanani Mangisa has hit out at few black women players in SA women’s hockey team; calls out slow ‘transformation, few blacks in SA women’s hockey teams’

The disruption of whiteness, white control and white privilege that embraces women’s hockey in South Africa is rightfully and justifiably being challenged. For over two decades of democratic sport in SA, hockey has existed largely for opportunities for white girls and women hockey players, coaches, selectors and administrators.

I’ve long time been calling out this white domination of women’s hockey in South Africa. I go to international matches featuring South Africa and I see it. Media publicity of women’s hockey teams and players also reveal how white players control the team make-ups.

Now black women players have had enough. They can’t take it anymore and are calling out the marginalisation, invisibility and absence of Black African women players in girls and women’s hockey.

Over the years, hockey in SA has become a class and colour-based sport with hockey being almost non-existent in working class schools and disadvantaged communities. The sport relies largely on its player supply from suburban, elite and well-resourced schools in SA dominated by white learners; all the schools that refuse to play football, SA’s national sport. Girls from township and working class schools that can’t afford the plush astro turfs to play on, don’t have much of a chance to be recognised nor selected. Even when their talent is noticeable, the working class girls miss out because of white hockey girl preference.

SA’s national and provincial girls and women’s hockey teams are largely white representative with a few coloured and Black African players in some teams. And the players who are not white deservedly make the provincial and national teams on ability. Yet women’s hockey seemingly has a quota of not more than five players who are not white; this includes the Black players who are there on hockey prowess/ability.

Look at SA girls and women’s hockey teams for continental and global events and international friendlies. They are mostly about white girls and women opportunity. And where are the Black African players?

There’s no doubt that SA women’s hockey gives preference to whiteness. That is colour prejudice in South Africa! The national field and indoor women’s hockey and girls teams are seemingly dominant about ‘whiteness first’.

Now black African women’s hockey international Sanani Mangisa has called out non-representation of black players in SA women’s hockey’s elite tournaments and teams.

On the eve of the draft of the sport’s Premier Hockey League (PHL) in SA, Sanani Mangisa has released a social media statement revealing why she has decided not to ‘attend the PHL draft’. As she outlines arriving at her decision, she states that because black players get so few opportunities in womens’ hockey, she has decided not to be selected but rather to hopefully give a  chance to another young black player.

This is part of Sanani Mangisa’s social media statement: “Transformation numbers within hockey are not great. The reports detail this. If I play, I am again taking the opportunity that could be given to a young black girl. Unfortunately hockey has always felt like 1 (one) black in for another and transformation targets are just met not exceeded.

Do I want to play this year? – Yes. But let’s make the circle bigger. It is only fair we give the opportunity to other young black kids”.

This is not only heartbreaking but damn unjust! Here is a black woman international prepared to give up her team selection so hopefully another young black woman can get an opportunity. She’s doing this because SA women’s hockey has preferred and opted to look after white girls and women with little attention and support given to black girls and young women.

Officialdom of SA women’s hockey must justify why they allow and support domination by white girls and women of SA’s provincial and national hockey teams. How does SA women’s hockey intend eliminating this white control from the sport? Why is hockey concentrated in suburban, middle class and wealthy schools and clubs?

SA women’s hockey must immediately stop with selecting no more than five black players! Why not make that only five white players so whiteness and white privilege know how unjust and privileged they have been in SA women’s hockey in South Africa, how the sport has discriminated against black players and protected white players?

Banyana Goal Scorer Leandra Smeda Wants A Pro Club Contract Outside SA By Cheryl Roberts

26 Oct

‘At this moment, I’m Really Enjoying My Football’ – Leandra Smeda

 

South African women’s football international player Leandra Smeda is playing some of her best football. This at age 28 years. ‘I’m really enjoying my football, both for my club and country’ says Leandra who this year has been scoring lots of goals, participating in league matches for her club UWC, and representing South Africa internationally.

IMG_17513leandra2leandraAs much as she loves holding it down for her Cape Town-based club UWC and her country South Africa, Leandra’s personal ambition for herself is to play professional club football outside of South Africa.

At age 28, Leandra knows that time is running out for her and she’s really hoping a contract or offer comes her way soon.

She has this season turned in match saving and match scoring performances for SA, recently in the Cosafa Cup and against Burkina Faso; this, against teams lower ranked than SA.

Now, the ageing player is wondering when her performances will be recognised so a team/club will say they need her to play for them.

I asked Leandra if she had turned down any club offers outside SA. Surprisingly, Leandra has never been approached by an agent or scout or been offered any club contract to play outside SA. She watches how other players, especially younger ones get opportunities to play outsude SA but sadly for her, nothing has come in her direction.

Leandra finds some solace in Banyana Banyana’s ageing/veteran  captain, Janine van Wyk getting a contract to play in the USNW league, at the age of 29. So Leandra is believing and hoping that her international experience and goal scoring ability on the field will attract a pro club offer.

Asked why she thought she had as yet not attracted a pro club offer, Leandra says ‘its because we haven’t been noticed on the field of play at big events like the World Cup where most players are noticed’. South Africa’s women’s football team has not qualified yet for a women’s world cup. SA has played in two Olympics and several continental championships.

Leandra Smeda played football as a girl footballers, with the boys, at primary school and on the community football field at Velddrift on the Cape West Coast where she grew up. After matric she came to Cape Town and was a student at University of the Western Cape where she studied food technology. It was at UWC that Leandra played for her first women’s football team. Today, despite not being a tertiary student, Leandra still turns up for UWC, the only women’s football club she has played for.

Soft spoken Leandra is the sportswoman who performs for the team, not her individual self. She’s also the player who doesn’t market or brand herself for quick and shot-gun publicity. She enjoys her football and she delivers the midfield performances and sometimes the goals. She’s also the player that has not gotten her fair recognition by media and sponsors.

Leandra Smeda has performed adequately and sometimes superbly for club and country. She has delivered as a team player. She wants to give back and help her community of Velddrift where she played as a girl footballer and wants to starts hosting coaching clinics in the area.

I’m so hoping that a pro club offer will be signed soon by Leandra Smeda the player whose burning ambition is to play club football outside of South Africa ‘just to have another experience and to play against top world class players’.

 

Down With SA Rugby’s Gender Discrimination And Disregard For Women’s Rugby By Cheryl Roberts

22 Sep

Rugby in South Africa is a very rich sport. It is a bastion for male hegemony and male control of sport. Rugby is heavily corporate-backed and a moneyed sport. And rugby in SA is a sport that gives crumbs to women’s rugby and advances boys and men in rugby while girl rugby enthusiasts and women rugby players are treated with little respect and recognition.

Last weekend, the finals of SA Rugby’s prestige domestic competition for senior women was held in East London, featuring teams from four rugby playing regions and two finals in the A and B section. It was shocking to see not one senior SA Rugby exco member or Board official at this event, featuring women rugby finals. This is not the first time that a women’s rugby event has been disregarded or ignored by SA Rugby officials, It happens most, if not all the time.

Over the past decade, I have been to several women’s rugby events throughout South Africa and I haven’t seen SA Rugby officials at these events. Yes, there are employees like the managers from head and provincial offices, but nowhere are the senior officials when women’s rugby is played.

Why does SA Rugby disregard women’s rugby events? They sure don’t do this for men’s rugby! No ways! Officials are present at provincial, national and international matches of men’s rugby where they have catering and free bar services. It’s not only the national rugby officials who are absent from women’s rugby events. It’s the provincial rugby officials, too. You just don’t see them at provincial women’s rugby events. But the staff and managers are out there on the field of play when women’s rugby is going down.

The non-presence of SA Rugby officials at a women’s rugby final isn’t their only indication of gender disrespect. SA Rugby didn’t even finance the 2017 women’s final! The host of the final, Border Rugby, one of the poorer rugby unions in SA, had to finance the event. It was a no frills, low-cost event featuring, as I stated earlier, four women’s rugby teams.

But that’s not all! SA Rugby has a budget for women’s rugby. But its a very low-budget; nothing like the money allocated for boys and men’s rugby. The SA senior women’s  interprovincial plays only one round of fixtures and then the top two teams after that one round, contest the final in an A section and B section competition. How must players improve and develop and challenge their rugby prowess against other teams with just one round of play? The interprovincial kicks off in late July and ends in mid-September. What must the women rugby players do for the rest of the year?

Some of SA Rugby’s provinces like Western Province and Border are sincerely building girls and women’s rugby. Much of the other provinces couldn’t be bothered too much about this gender’s development in rugby; giving the girls and women in rugby little attention and resources.

About two years ago, SA Rugby took a decision to place their own moratorium on international women’s play involving South Africa, with the decision to concentrate on grassroots and girls in rugby. Many talented women rugby players just like that had their international ambitions trampled. The Springbok women weren’t faring well at international level and needed to build skills at youth level to groom the future senior players. But how do you want the players to improve with so little domestic and international competition? SA Rugby concentrates much on boys in rugby than the women in rugby. Yes, there are much more boys and men playing rugby but girls and women’s interest in rugby in growing around the world and in South Africa.

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It’s about the budget allocated for women’s rugby in South Africa. Much more money needs to be invested in girls and women’s rugby. SA Rugby says ‘they don’t have money’. What utter bullshit! Ofcourse they have money. They just choose to spend it on other activities and the men in rugby than investing in the women. Senior officials, Board members and exo members of SA Rugby are looked after nicely with financial remunerations. But what about the small budget given to women’s rugby in SA Rugby?

There’s no doubt that the male officialdom of SA Rugby have got to change and shift away from their male hegemonic thinking and control. The disrespect given to women’s rugby is shameful and SA Rugby shouldn’t be allowed to go on advancing boys and men in rugby while neglecting girls and women in rugby.

Why Wasn’t Applause For Fabulous Black Sportswomen Achievements Thunderous? By Cheryl Roberts

14 Sep

It all happened in about one week. That’s when Black sportswomen slayed fabulously on the international sports stages around the world. And, amongst the slayers were South Africa’s black sportswomen, too.

Black women achieving in sport didn’t just happen recently. Despite their struggles, adversities and chains associated with being black, they’ve been slaying for some time and for some decades. But its been the one black sportswoman here and another later, somewhere there.

Amongst the amazing black sportswomen feats in one incredible week of sports triumph, there was Sloan Stephens’ magnificent US Open tennis championship victory, after being ranked somewhere in the 900’s through being out of competitive play because of injury. There was also Kenyan athlete Joyciline Jepkosgei who broke the world 10k record at an IAAF Gold Label Road Race in Prague.

South Africa’s black sportswomen, too were on the achieving page and stage. There was the awesome boxing achievements of South Africa’s black sportswomen. World champion Noni Tenge successfully defended her WBF title and Unathi Myekeni successfully claimed a world title. World class netballer Bongi Msomi, captain of the SA netball team led the national team to a famous historical win over England.

Get this! These women are black. They have not had easy pathways to international sports glory. They have emerged from grassroots sport to international triumphs.

So we know the black sportswomen performed and achieved fabulously. But why wasn’t the applause for these incredible achievements, especially of the South African black sportswomen, so loud that it would have been heard in both southern and northern hemispheres?

Yes, there were congratulations and acknowledgements of Noni Tenge, Unathi Myekeni and Bongi Msomi’s triumphs. But it was white sportsman and professional tennis player Kevin Anderson who seemingly got much more attention and publicity than the three black sportswomen all together.

What is it with South Africa that we just can’t celebrate with thunderous and deafening applause our black sportswomen? But then again, because of scant and now-and-then media publicity of black women in sport, much of SA don’t know about our black women world boxing champions nor about our Paralympic champion, Zanele Situ. And it’s really the larger netball community that knows about world class players Bongi Msomi and Pumza Maweni.

These black sportswomen, despite their amazing sports achievements like world, Olympic, Paralympic titles and world class status, just don’t attract corporate attention or association. But sportsmen who haven’t achieved as enormously and fabulously as the black sportsmen get corporate business and sponsorship contracts. How do you call this?

What the black women boxers Noni Tenge and Unathi Myekeni achieved in one night was phenomenal for country, women and blackness. As people got to know about their world titles, especially through social media, their sports prowess got some acknowledgement. But it wasn’t loud enough. It wasn’t as deafening as it should have been. Two world boxing titles by women were achieved by South Africans, in a boxing championship in South Africa, in one night. Yet, these world champion black women boxers were not celebrated as their global sports achievements deserved. And the sponsors and corporates still haven’t contacted them.

It’s a fact that media, publicity and sponsorship in sport in South Africa heavily favours the sportsmen and not the women in sport. Commercial media has, over the past decade given a little more space to sportswomen and men in sport. Sports fans and sports consumers often say they didn’t know that a ‘black woman boxing champion existed’, or ‘women played cricket and rugby’, or when national and international fixtures featuring women were taking place. Hence, sportswomen and their achievements/defeats/triumphs are lesser known

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Noni Tenge: World women’s boxing champion

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Pumza Maweni: South African international netballer

and not as loudly celebrated as should be.

Celebration of sports achievements is very gendered with sportsmen getting loud and thunderous applause whilst sportswomen, especially black achieving sportswomen, get some acknowledgement in the moment of the sports triumph like Olympic and world champion Caster Semenya, and then seemingly forgotten about. Black sportswomen rarely get corporate sponsors or business/sports contracts, sometimes they get some commercial media, and in between some award recognition. This is how a patriarchal, sexist, male-dominated society impacts on sports applause and celebration. This is how male hegemony, male control supervises and takes care of male domination. Black sportswomen, despite their impressive and incredible sports feats, are dissed and largely unacknowledged.

How Disgusting! SAFA’s #SasolLeague Women’s Football Teams haven’t Received Their 2017 Grants By Cheryl Roberts

6 Sep

 

Women’s football in South Africa is struggling for recognition and support, especially the formation of a national professional league for women footballers. As if that’s not enough, the little support the women’s game gets from a corporate sponsor, hasn’t this year found it’s way to the clubs/teams that keep women’s football going.

Get this! Teams in regions playing Sasol League competitions haven’t received their 2017 grants allocated to them from the Sasol sponsorship. This, despite the Sasol League already having entered it’s second round of competition.

I wa shocked to hear last weekend, when I was on the football field how teams in the Western Cape hadn’t received their grants and their kit. I then stated an opinion about this on social media and was subsequently informed how the situation is the same in KZN and Eastern Cape. Other teams from around South Africa informd me confidentially how they, too hadn’t gotten their money.

The question is: Who is responsible for the grants not being disbursed to the Sasol League teams? Has the sponsor Sasol paid the sponsorship to SAFA national? Has SAFA national received the sponsorship but not yet distributed the funds/grants?

We’ve just come through the month of August, known as women’s month in South Africa where women are the focus and thought about. In sport, too women in sport are mentioned as being taken care of and promised ‘bigger and better’ in SA sport.

But hold on! Why is women’s football being treated like this?

Women’s football teams throughout the country, playing in the Sasol Leagues are mostly administered by and kept afloat by a few volunteer officials and coaches. These volunteers use their personal time and money, in most scenarios, to keep girls, young women and women in the game. Now, just about 5 months after playing league matches in a structured competition organised by SAFA national and administered by SAFA’s regional structures, it has become public that the Sasol League women’s football teams are running on empty and at personal cost to the volunteer officials and coaches.

This is not fair. It’s an injustice to women’s football! There is a national corporate sponsorship associated with women’s football competition in SA. Where is the sponsorship money and kit?

This year is especially big for women’s football. SA is preparing girls and teenagers for world cup qualifying tournaments. It’s the clubs at regional level that must develop these players and surface the talent. How can the volunteers do this alone with no grants/funding coming their way?

Where is the sponsorship money? I ask again: Has SAFA national received the sponsorship from Sasol? As its already 5 months into Sasol League competition, surely Sasol can’t be holding back with the sponsorship? Surely Sasol doesn’t want their brand tarnished by them not paying the Sasol League grants? Why is SAFA not disbursing the grants; why is SAFA doing this to the women’s football teams?

When team representatives attend Sasol League meetings in their regions/provinces and enquire about their grants, they are told to keep quiet and not ask questions because women’s football can’t get sponsors and only Sasol is keen to sponsor women’s football. Yes, that’s true about there being no sponsors, except Sasol, for women’s football, at this juncture. But enquiring about your grant doesn’t mean you are ungrateful. You just want to know how much longer must you go on using personal money to keep women’s football going and growing when there’s a corporate sponsor associated with the competition that you are making ahppen!

I’m writing this because I hear and feel the frustration of those volunteers especially who help develop women’s football in SA. I’m writing and shouting out because this is injustice being done to women’s football in SA. I’m writing this because clubs are scared to speak out, terrified their talented players will be victimised by non-selection for national squads. I’m writing this and calling out SAFA national or Sasol (whomever is to blame), because there’s no organised voice for women’s football in SA; anyone speaking out against gender injustices in SAFA fear they could be disciplined.

No one wants to fight with SAFA. We all want women’s football to be supported and developed. So, where are the grants that should have been paid to Sasol League teams for the 2017 season? Who is hoding the money?

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