The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has expressed joy over the upcoming and inaugural COSAFA Women Champions League scheduled to take place either in June or August 2021.
The venue and dates for the 2021 COSAFA Women’s Champions League tourney are yet to be finalised, once all discussions with all concerned stakeholders are completed.
The upcoming competition will serve as a qualifier for the CAF Women’s Champions League. The COSAFA event is yet another major development for women’s football in the Southern Africa region, and will see eight sides split into two groups of four, where they will play a minimum of three games each.
The BFA National Executive Committee (NEC) Female representative, Lobito Ncube today (Friday) thanked and appreciated the BFA and its stakeholders for engaging in a transparent procedural process that saw one team being selected to represent the nation at the upcoming COSAFA Women Champions League.
“It’s such an incredible milestone for our Women Football to get representation in the inaugural tournament and it will be equally worthwhile to see the representing team, Prisons XI, make it all the way to the finals. Women football has been doing well lately, this is another chance to showcase our talent and attract more spectactorship even from outside. Countries like America are known for their vested interest in Women Football, who knows, maybe Prisons XI will make history for our country to win the champions league and set us closer to our goals. Participation in this tournament gives us hope as women, as it shows we have a bright future in the game,” said Ncube.
Furthermore, Ncube acknowledged that the anticipated competition will put local players in pole position to attract foreign scouts and earn international contracts in the future, something that will further advance the growth of women football.
“Playing regional and international competitions exposes our players to the outside market. Remember the women national teams has been doing well in the past tournament and that alone has attracted a lot of attention. By virtue of Prisons being part of this tournament will also expose their players internationally. I am optimistic that by end of this year we will have exported not less than 3 players because a lot of agents world wide and as far as USA has been paying attention. When the qualifiers are hosted we will surely make it a point that agents out there have the link to matches so that we can create opportunities for them,” said Ncube.
Ncube noted that the BFA is also in the process of finding out how they can assist Prisons XI going forward.
“Processes on how we can assist Prisons XI are underway. We will together with the team, look at every opportunity and see where we can help each other. Be it financially, technically, psychological or whatever way, we will put our support behind the team. Now it is no longer a Gaborone Regional team but team Botswana representing women football regionally and continentally. We will rally behind the team as they prepare to raise our flag high,” said Ncube.
Ncube remains confident that women football locally is on a meteoric rise.
“Women football is the future of Botswana Football. It has been doing wonders. Just last year they nearly clinched the COSAFA cup. Therefore, by empowering women footballers will mean we increase our chances of lifting one of the continental trophies or even to an extent of featuring at the World Cup or Olympic games. Let us support women football, e bogadi jo bo gauhi. The other benefit for participating is that CAF and COSAFA will also prioritize their resources to countries that participate in this kind of tournaments. The main reason being that by participating, it shows that the country does care about women football and it wants to see it developing hence all developments will come our way.” concluded Ncube.
Meanwhile, the COSAFA General Secretary, Sue Destombes said, “We are incredibly excited to stage our first COSAFA Women’s Champions League, which will be a chance for the leading clubs in the region to not only lift a prestigious trophy, but to also take their place at the continental finals.”
“Adding to our senior women’s championship and the junior events in the Under-17 and Under-20 age groups, this new competition enhances our commitment to women’s football and advancing the sport in our region. We only have to look at our national teams to see the enormous talent in Southern Africa, and I am quite sure that our club sides can make a big impact at the CAF Women’s Champions League in the future.”
The eight teams confirmed to take part in the looming tourney are:
Prisons XI (Botswana)
Manzini Wanderers LFC (Eswatini)
Lesotho Defense Force (Lesotho)
Costa Do Sol (Mozambique)
Tura Magic FC (Namibia)
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies FC (South Africa)
Green Buffaloes Women FC (Zambia)
Black Rhino Queens FC (Zimbabwe)
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