There’s Too Much Wrong In South African Women’s Football!   By Cheryl Roberts

9 Jul

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The 2015 edition of the Women’s Football World Cup ended in Canada on Sunday with a triumphant victory for the USA, together with tears for some countries, happiness for improving and debutant playing teams and dreams accomplished for some teams.

A global sports event is supposed to impact on the world with the intention of popularising and growing that sport. The women’s football world cup’s broadcast viewing figures were spectacular with records broken for viewers watching the women’s football teams compete in this global spectacular. A world cup or world championship is also used by the international sports federation to grow the game in countries.

So how does the women’s football world cup impact on our country South Africa, which is yet to participate in a women’s football world cup?

SAFA consistently says they are developing women’s football. How is this being done? When be became SAFA President after the 2010 World Cup,  Danny Jordaan was adamant that women’s football must be officiated by women and the national coach of Banyana Banyana must be a woman. Fair enough. We couldn’t agree more with Danny Jordaan,

The woman coach got appointed; a foreign woman coach because South Africa hadn’t produced qualified, experienced and ‘intelligent’ women football coaches. Women officials were appointed to be in control and charge of women’s football in SA. Of course, the women’s football committee/unit is not independent of SAFA and answers to SAFA’s exco and higher management. Anything that must be done out of office must be signed off by the SAFA CEO.

So here are some questions about the state of women’s football in SA;

. When and where is the women’s professional league? Women footballers are pleading for a professional women’s football league which will allow women footballers to concentrate on football fulltime, as a career and means of earning an income

. Why has the girls 2015 under 13 football been postponed? Whys are preparations for the women’s u20 world cup qualifiers so erratic, without proper planning and implementation for selection and trials.

. Who are the selectors and coaches of the SA under 20 women’s football team, Basetsane? Why are the same selectors of Sheryl Botes, Anna Monate and Desiree Ellis appointed and a few others appointed over and over again? They are not the only women football coaches in SA, yet they are given opportunities galore to coach and select SA’s national women’s football teams. SA football needs women football coaches, the women are willing and want to be coaches. But why is their pathway as coaches being strangled because the same women coaches are being appointed! Where is the coach of the wining under 19 girls IPT team, Marion February? Whys is she not being given a chance to be a national coach and selector? Why are young, emerging women coaches and retiring Banyana Banyana players not being encouraged to work with SA’s youth women footballers?

. This leads me to ask: Is women’s football within SAFA being controlled by a cabal? Seemingly, it is! I want to believe that all involved in women’s football want to see women’s football develop to high levels. But how is women’s football going to achieve high standards when a few women coaches and officials are controlling selection, coaching and appointments?

. How do you explain not one player, from the SA champion club, Cape Town Roses being able to represent SA’s under 20 women’s team? Which selectors have missed these players?

. Why are trials conducted so clandestinely with the football structures not aware of what is going on, with so-called national coaches and selectors not even consulting with provincial and regional club coaches? Why are players emailed at night and told to report for trails the next day as happened with some players in Cape Town? We must understand that sportswomen are concentrating on studies and school, they are writing tests and exams and have to put education first. Trials in sport must be known weeks before.

. Its disgusting how the SA under 20 women’s football team for the Southern African Games in Zimbabwe in December 2014 was represented by players from Gauteng only; this because SAFA apparently had no budget for trials. This excluded all other talented and deserving players from the national team.

There is too much wrong within SAFA’s administration of women’s football. Perhaps its best to stop all international participation until authentic coaching and selection guidelines and principles are adopted, until the cabal stranglehold is broken and until many more people are actively involved in national women’s football selection and coaching.

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