SA women footballers poised to down boots

2011-10-08 20:09

The South African Women’s Football league is likely to be hit by strike action over allowances.

The proposed mass protest is scheduled for Saturday at the national football association’s headquarters, Safa House, at Soccer City.

The 144 clubs affiliated to the Sasol league have further threatened to bring the league to a standstill if their demands are not met.

The looming strike has forced the association to postpone the kick-off of their programme.

The league was scheduled to resume last week.

Clubs are angered by the manner in which Safa is treating them and also handling women’s football matters.

They argue they deserve more than the current R20 000 yearly grant they receive – as Safa received sponsorship worth ­­R13 million from Sasol in 2009.

The grant is expected to cover weekly expenses of transport, food, referees’ travel fees and other logistics.

Each team is required to pay R250 every week for the referee’s travel allowance and if a club fails to honour a match, the home team will have to fork out R500.

Teams claim the money they get from Safa is insufficient to cover their needs.

They are now demanding R20 000 a month.

Outspoken Skukuza Brazillian Ladies owner Lemmy Mogale told City Press that the clubs would picket at the Safa head office to voice their grievances.

He has accused the association of not having the interest of women’s football at heart.

Mogale has since called for women’s soccer to be an independent association so it can run its own affairs.

“We have no voice as everything is imposed on us. It is better to have an independent body,” said a livid Mogale.

Simon Tsedi, owner of Kutloanang FC of Free State, said they were unhappy that women’s football was not getting financial support.

“We are losing good players because of Safa’s ineptitude. The problem is that women’s football is still undermined,” said Tsedi.

He said his club spends up to R9 000 a month on travelling.

Safa deputy president Mandla “Shoes” Mazibuko was sympathetic to the teams, saying he understood their plight. He said it was impossible for the association to fund a sponsored league.

“We are looking after other teams that have no sponsorship. Our Under-23, Under-20 and Under-17 have no sponsors and we have to finance them on a full-time basis,” said Mazibuko.

Safa Women’s Football chairperson Nomsa Mahlangu denied the delayed kick off was due to the looming mass action.

“That is not true. The postponement was due to technical and logistical reasons,” said Mahlangu.

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