No women’s team, no participation in 2023/24 competitions, says CAF

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has thrown a spanner in the works after they reiterated this week and outlined measures that compel clubs that will participate in the 2023-24 Champions League and Confederation Cup competitions to have women’s professional teams.

The matter has been bubbling for some time since CAF first spoke about it two years ago.

It was thought to be one of those talk shops that CAF usually blabber about without implementation. It did not bother club bosses that much then, but it is now a major headache for many clubs, not just in the PSL, but across the entire African continent.

This is part of the club licensing regulations that were summerised by the continental mother body needed to acquire the licence clubs will need to participate in the 2023-24 CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup competitions.

Clubs have until June 30 to comply.

The most crucial among the listed requirements is for every club to have a women’s football team. As part of the initiatives to fast-track and  empower women’s football, CAF insists that any men’s team without a women’s team will be prohibited from participating in CAF inter-club competitions starting from the 2023-24 season.

This will have given the bosses of Orlando Pirates, SuperSport United and Sekhukhune United some sort of a migraine.

In the SA premier division, Mamelodi Sundowns, TS Galaxy and Royal AM are the only PSL clubs that have women’s football teams. Pirates and Sundowns will be flying the Mzansi flag high in the Champions League, while Matsatsantsa a Pitori and Ba Bina Noko will be campaigning in the Confederations Cup.

Except for the Brazilians, the other three teams do not meet the requirements to get the licence to participate in the coming CAF competitions.

But there is a way around the obstacle – in the way that teams can affiliate with another club or entity that already has women’s first team club. So, the trio could be forced to form coalitions or to join forces with other women’s premier league teams.

This simply means that the PSL clubs, including Pirates and glamour club Kaizer Chiefs, have not been taking CAF seriously. Chiefs’ marketing head honcho Jessica Motaung has been talking about purchasing a women’s team status for some time now – but nothing tangible can be said about the project.

Last year, Motaung was appointed to the organising committee for women football standing committee from 2022-2024.

“We are confident she will add much value to CAF and women’s football on the continent given her experience that spans over two decades.

 “Women’s football is the fastest growing sport property globally and CAF, like Fifa, are strategically placing people in that space who can fast-track the development,” said Kaizer Motaung at the time.

Pirates should be setting the example, they’re run by the PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza but there is nothing coming from the Buccaneers camp regarding the acquisition of a team.

The sooner SA club owners realise women’s football is here to stay, the less headaches they will experience.

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