New rules to boost women’s football in Africa

Thursday, August 18th, 2022 10:45 | By
Kenya’s Harambee Starlest Gentrix Shikangwa battle Malawi’s Patricia Nyirenda during the 2020 Olympic qualifiers at Kasarani. PD/David Ndolo

Forcing clubs wishing to participate in men’s continental competitions in Africa to have a women’s team will boost the development of the women’s game, according to Kaizer Chiefs official Jessica Motaung.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) decided to change its rules in 2021, but some clubs have left it late to make a decision on how to add a women’s side to their roster as new regulations come into force for the 2022-23 campaign.

South African outfit Chiefs are not competing in continental competition this season, but are now trying to create a women’s team regardless.

“The club licensing process which makes it mandatory to have a women’s team puts the women’s game on the agenda,” Motaung, Chiefs’ marketing and commercial director, told BBC Sport Africa

“That’s important because it hasn’t been on the agenda before. It’s making clubs sit down and notice the fact that they now have to put a structure in place and ensure that the facilities are in place.

“Kaizer Chiefs doesn’t have a women’s team, but we’ve have a strategy because it’s something we also want to do properly.

“It can’t be just because it’s an enforcement, but also to ensure that we build young women’s talent and showcase them through the Chiefs brand,” she added.

I’m quite excited about that, and looking forward to engaging new sponsors, and really getting into the marketplace with something very significant.”

The preliminary draws for the African Champions League and the second-tier Caf Confederation Cup took place last week, but were eventually overshadowed by the launch of the new Africa Super League which is scheduled to begin in 2023-24.

A member of Caf’s women’s football standing committee, Motaung believes the directive from the continent’s governing body will challenge clubs across Africa and also in her native South Africa, home to the reigning continental champions Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies.

She insists teams will be monitored to ensure consistency and prevent clubs from cutting corners.

“I have seen clubs that are buying status to make sure that they have a women’s team. So it is clearly starting to bear fruit,” she added.

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