SAFA Must Improve #SNWL: Recommendations For SAFA To Improve Women’s Football National League #SNWL By Cheryl Roberts

24 Apr

1first touch v durban ladies

In August 2019 SAFA finally kicked into action its much awaited women’s football national league. It was a 12 team league to start with. The national league, which got a title of #SNWL along the way wasn’t sponsored, according to SAFA. Obviously, in its inaugural edition, many hiccups and challenges surfaced.
In the absence of a league sponsor and very few clubs having sponsors, teams struggled to help themselves compete comfortably in the national league. SAFA never officially revealed the breakdown of how the clubs were funded and with how much. We got told somewhere along the way that SAFA had given ‘a grant’ to all teams and they had to make do with this money and get to play and finish all their league game commitments.
Those of us who followed and supported women’s football in this national league never knew if the plaers got wages/salaries from playing football. Somewhere along the way we heard about players getting a ‘stipend’. Some teams struggled with transport, for instance, First Touch WFC had to travel from Limpopo to Cape Town and back to Limpopo by road transport to play an away match. This was called out as being an injustice to women footballers!

Obviously, SAFA knows it must improve the national league for the league to grow bigger and advance. Here are some recommendations……..

1. Play the national league on a home and away format,
2. Teams having to tavel more than 8 hours in road travel to play a league game, must use only air travel,
3. SAFA must improve its national communication and publicity of the league. Information about all teams and players and management must be out there, especially on social media. Surely SAFA can get a website going for the national women’s league? Instruct all teams to improve their media and publicity, especially on social media and platforms like whatsapp,
4. Fixtures must be drawn up before the start of the season,
5. How about initiating an annual awards function for the national league? Several awards can be given out and performing players will be rightfully acknowledged and honoured. Players will look forward to the awards and this shuld have a positive impact on the players and teams performing in the national league,
6. For the inaugural season, it was just a national league. Not a pro league. When can teams start paying wages/salaries? This again will depend on the national league attaining a corporate sponsor just like corporates back and fund the men’s PSL. SAFA has got to work on getting sponsors for the women’s football national league,
7. Operational running of the league and appointment of match officials must be improved. This thing of referees being late for kick off must be stopped. It should not be tolerated unless there’s an exceptional circumstance why the referee was late for kickoff,

2first touch v durban ladies

8. Encourage fans and spectators to attend the women’s football matches by having free attendance at the grounds. Instruct national league teams to have a working relationship with their province and region, to work together to get fans to attend national league matches. An idea to look at is to have some Sasol League matches played on the same day, at the same ground when the national league team is playing at home. Another idea is to have the national league team playing at home on the same ground on the same day, when the PSL team is playing a match. The women’s national league team could play the curtain-raiser,
9. Broadcasting of national league matches was done already in this inaugural season. That was fantastic! Now keep it going this live broadcast of women’s football national league games,
10. National league teams are desperate to have the strongest team in the league. They must stop raiding other teams without consulting coaches of the players they want. Despicable coaches go directly to players, bribe them with opportunities of joining their national league team and the starry-eyed young woman footballer just goes off without even thanking her team, coach that developed her.

3first touch v durban ladies11. Another option is for SAFA and the PSL to come to agreement for the PSL to manage and administer South Africa’s women’s football pro league. Surely if the PSL can get sponsors for the men’s PSL it can also get for the women’s league? It’s not going to help the growth and advancement of the women’s football national league if there’s no sponsor and no money to pay for travel, accommodation and player wages. The survival foundation of a national league needs MONEY!

These are just some recommendations to help the #SNWL take a big leap forward after its struggling inaugural edition. Getting the #SNWL sponsored is crucial. SAFA knows this!

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