Sundowns women's team's moment in history will be televised as Caf secures rights deal

Mamelodi Sundowns ladies celebrate a goal in the Hollywoodbets Super League match against TUT FC at Groenkloof Campus in Pretoria on September 18 2021.
Mamelodi Sundowns ladies celebrate a goal in the Hollywoodbets Super League match against TUT FC at Groenkloof Campus in Pretoria on September 18 2021.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns' women's team will make a small piece of history when they open their tournament in the inaugural Women’s Champions League finals in Cairo with their Group B clash against Vihiga Queens of Kenya at El Salam Stadium on Saturday.

The maiden edition of the continent's premier women's tournament began on Friday with the Group A clash between host club Wadi Degla of Egypt and Malian outfit AS Mande. The final will be played on November 19.

Caf also announced on Friday that a last-minute TV broadcast deal had been concluded with several companies — including SuperSport — meaning the Women's Champions League will be televised globally and on SA screens on DStv. 

Hollywoodbets Super League log leaders and defending champions Sundowns enter the Women's Champions League finals on the brink of retaining their domestic title, needing just a point to seal the championship.

Coach Jerry Tshabalala’s charges have enjoyed excellent form domestically throughout the season and are without a defeat for a second campaign running.

“The preparations are going well. We are fortunate that the Hollywoodbets Super League season is still on as it gives us several opportunities to be match and tournament-ready in Cairo,” Tshabalala said.

“Last week we played three games in a week and that went a long way in shaping our fitness and readiness for the Champions League.

“Most of those games were away and we were faced with different tactical styles and we showed our ability to adapt to various playing styles, and we duly reaped the dividends.”

The experience tactician elaborated on the challenges facing his side as they prepare to represent not only SA but also Southern Africa as a region.

“We don't want to put ourselves under huge pressure. My plan is always to take the games one step at a time,” he said.

“We are fully aware that we are representing the nation of SA and also the southern region, but we do not want to allow those feelings to get the better of us.”

After their clash against Vihiga on Saturday (kickoff 4pm Egypt and SA time), Banyana Ba Style face Nigeria's Rivers Angels on Tuesday before wrapping up the group phase against ASFAR of Morocco on November 12.

Caf said: “A number of international broadcasters have acquired the rights for the competition.

“They include: beIN Sports — Middle East, North Africa, USA, Canada and Asia Pacific territories, including Australia, New Zealand, Thailand (Laos, Cambodia), Indonesia (East Timor), Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong; SuperSport International — Sub-Saharan Africa; Canal+ — Sub-Saharan Africa; FIFATV (YouTube) and — rest of the world.”

Caf general secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba said: “It is important that this product we are trying to build is visible in Africa and beyond. We are delighted to see that a number of top international broadcasters will be showing matches live.”