African Women’s Game: More of the Same

By Gemma Mcdonald | August 15th, 2010 2 Comments

Schoolgirls playing the game in KwaZulu-Natal (Photo by Gemma Mcdonald)

Remember ‘Feel it! It is here!’ and similar emotional tugs on our football-loving hearts and souls during the 2010 World Cup? A few weeks later, the country is due to host the CAF African Women’s Championship and the silence is deafening.

Media, the South African FA, government and the private sector are back to their usual ways, ignoring everything but the money-spinning elite men’s game. The most recent evidence of the continuing low status of the women’s game in South Africa (and Africa) is that the venues for the African Women’s Championship in October have yet to be decided.

After the World Cup, we are back to reality. Maladministration, commercial disinterest, and male condescension continue to hold African women’s football back. The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Gerard Akindes

August 15th, 2010 | 10:33 pm    

The competition is in October. I just hope that there is more focus, promotion and attention soon. But I’m not optimistic. British Premier League and other European league will all be on TV by then. The qualifiers for CAN 2010 will be on soon too.
Although it’s politically correct to have the women competitions, I’m not sure if there is any interest all from the national federations and even the transnational governing bodies. Many countries still don’t have a regular championship for women in Africa.
Great wake up call for all football fans on the continent, unfortunately many of us are part of the problem. We pay no attention to the game played by women. A long way to go.

Kevin Johnston

August 16th, 2010 | 5:59 am    

Hi Peter, I guess I’m trying to get a fix on what would be the “correct” way to appreciate women’s soccer. On par, in terms of skills, with pro men? No chance. BUT, of course the conundrum historians face when sussing out reality is that elite women are better than most men, period. I know my forays into 18th century working class revealed that strong women were stronger than most men, but not strong men. So, the public paradigms we’re shooting down to make way for the credos these women deserve are not straw men…at least in their own minds. I’m a veteran of high functioning teams, teams “manned” by earnest male atheletes who like soccer, and college and elite level women who have it all over the men in terms of skill, but aren’t as fast, heavy, … etc.

My interest in women’s soccer springs from John Turnhbull’s comments and my foray into running a women’s club this fall. How is coaching them different? Why?

Always good to hear from you. YES…definitely let’s focus on the woman’s game in our meetings.

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