The South African Football Association (Safa) has resolved to no longer bid for the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup.
The decision was reached at the association’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Sunday at the Sandton Convention Centre.
Speaking on the decision, interim CEO Gay Mokoena said they want to focus on improving the women’s game before bidding for another international tournament.
“We resolved that as an Association we should not proceed with the bid for the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2023,” he said. “Because, among others, we have taken into account, the Netball will be hosting a World Cup during that year but also the fact that we want to strengthen our women’s national league first before we invite the world to come and play. Definitely, we will consider doing 2027 and we think by that time, we will be having a stronger women’s league and a much stronger women’s national team”.
Speaking on their amateur women’s league Mokoena reiterated that there were sponsors who were keen to partner with Safa in a bid to grow the women’s game.
“Unfortunately, we cannot reveal who is willing until we have signed on the dotted line but we have a potential sponsor for the women’s national league. I can confirm we have interest from one of the big five of the banks, our financial institutions. We will be doing a brainstorming exercise with them. They have said to us they would really like to create a legacy in terms of this league”.
Mokoena added that they also have received interest from brands about the sponsorship of the national team kit. Nike is currently sponsoring Bafana Bafana and is interested in extending the deal but Safa is accessing their options before making any announcements.
Other matters that were discussed at the AGM was a turnaround strategy for their finances after suffering another loss.
One of the options they spoke about was the launching of a Super Cup match, that would see the Absa Premiership winners taking on the winner of a cup competition. While their broadcast deal with the SABC will allow for them to revive the annual Safa awards.
The possible introduction of the Video Assistant Referee was also discussed, with SAFA due to hold a meeting with the PSL in the new year about the feasibility of introducing it in the local league.
Annually, the cost of VAR would be about R80 million.
“I know our team in Safa is looking at the possibilities of VAR but we are still a little bit far from taking a position to say ‘yes, we are going to do VAR’ or ‘no, we are not going to do it’.”