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New lease of life for women's soccer

By unknown | Feb 16, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

The Absa Women's League - launched in Soweto on Saturday - will breathe new life into the development of women's soccer in the country.

After years of getting by on a wing and a prayer - and still making a significant impact on the continent - a R20million cash injection from Absa would ensure that more than 624 players ranging in age from 17 to 19 in all of Safa's 52 regions engage in organised competition and get the opportunity to showcase their talents.

Africa's Woman Footballer of the Year Noko Matlou was joined by some of her Banyana Banyana teammates in expressing relief that someone had taken an interest in taking care of the game at grassroots level.

The sponsorship runs for the duration of Absa's involvement in the men's league.

"We hope that they actually stay the course and will not abandon us at a later stage," said Banyana defender Hlengiwe Ngwane.

Her teammate Amanda Dlamini concurred, and expressed the hope that more players would have a chance to showcase their skills to national team coach Augustine Makalakalane.

The banking heavyweight's general manager in group marketing, Penny Letswalo said the sponsorship was about levelling the playing field.

"We thought the best option was to invest our money in ensuring that we build motivation for girls to take up the sport and make it into a viable career," said Letswalo.

Letswalo said at this stage it was critical to focus on development.

Voicing the association's difficulty in getting big business to invest in the sport, Safa's director of competitions Balebetse Monnakgotla said they were honoured, as this "was not a route that everybody wanted to walk".

Safa's chief executive Raymond Hack said the inception of the league will take women's football development to another level.


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