Samoura: Go together, go far on women’s football

Over the past two days, a FIFA delegation - including Secretary General Fatma Samoura and Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman – has continued in-person meetings about the promotion of women’s football with key South African stakeholders. Following the COSAFA Qualifiers finals for the CAF Women’s Champions League in Durban, the delegation travelled to Cape Town to meet with members of SAFA Cape Town, including CEO Tegbo Motlanthe, President Bennett Bailey, Gerald Don and several coaches and players involved in women’s football’s youth ranks.

Speaking at the meeting, Fatma Samoura said: “It’s a pleasure to be with all of you, and to see such great representation of young women’s teams is testament that you at SAFA Cape Town are going the extra mile for women’s football. “But that doesn’t mean that you can stop pushing and supporting these young ladies, for whom football is more than just a passion. There’s an old African proverb that says: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go with others’ - and that’s why we are here, to go with you on the journey of nourishing, developing and elevating African women’s football.”

Sarai Bareman added: “It is exciting to be here to feel the momentum of women’s football in South Africa and see how it’s expanding. We want to see African teams progress to the knockout rounds of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 and we are happy to join you on the path towards reaching the ultimate women’s football competition.” The FIFA delegation met with several youth women’s football teams and coaches involved in regional leagues around the Cape area, exchanging opinions and ideas. The teams included the Footballers Lab, UCT FC Ladies, Milano Ladies Football Club and Howt Bay United Football Community.

Memories of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, the first on the African continent, remain vivid in Cape Town, as the delegation discovered during a visit to Cape Town Stadium. The 59,000 capacity venue hosted five first-round matches, one second-round fixture, a quarter-final and a semi-final. FNB Stadium, or Soccer City, in Johannesburg, which the group visited the following morning, provided the delegation, accompanied by SAFA President Danny Jordaan, a chance to revisit to view the venue that hosted, among other matches, the 2010 Final.

A meeting with South African Minister of Sport, Culture and Arts, Nkosinathi Emmanuel 'Nathi' Mthethwa was next in the agenda. Talks there focused on the South African government’s commitment to ensuring that Banyana Banyana , the female national team, qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™.