By Peter Alegi | September 16th, 2010 1 Comment
CAF announced that the final draw for the 2010 African Women’s Championship in South Africa will take place in Ekurhuleni (Gauteng) on 21 September. The tournament runs from 29 October to 14 November, with Equatorial Guinea (defending champions), Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Algeria, Mali, Tanzania and hosts South Africa to be divided into two round-robin groups. The top two teams from each group advance to the semis.
But with barely a month to go we are still in the dark about where and when matches will take place. This inexcusable delay makes it more difficult for fans and media to participate in and cover the premier event in women’s football on the continent.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s women’s team, Banyana Banyana, lost 0-2 at home to Cameroon in its last match. Mail and Guardian blogger Siphiwe Hlongwane characterized it as ‘another painful reminder of how far behind we still are when it comes to the women’s game.’ Commenting on South Africa’s humiliating 10-1 loss to Germany in the Women’s Under 17 World Cup, my good friend Thabo Dladla noted in his column today: ‘You cannot have a national U17 team while girls are not playing football in primary school.’
Whether it’s properly hosting a major tournament, building competitive national teams, or developing youth football, for meaningful change to happen, as Hlongwane says, ‘Women’s football needs to be treated with respect.’