- SAFA president Danny Jordaan has taken a swipe at the media for not promoting the drive to professionalise local women’s soccer while providing little detail on the federation’s own plans.
- He was at pains to point out the revenue gap between the men’s and women’s game around the world.
- Jordaan said that SAFA had been meeting with commercial partners this week to discuss the issue.
SAFA president Danny Jordaan remains vague on a renewed drive to professionalise women’s soccer in the country, instead intimating that the South African media could do more to promote the cause than “pointing fingers”.
The issue was once again in the spotlight earlier this week following government’s announcement that its kitty for Banyana Banyana’s WAFCON bonuses has swelled to R15 million as observers note that the local game simply has to capitalise on that achievement.
Women’s soccer remains distinctly semi-professional in nature despite the formation of the Hollywoodbets Super League in 2019, a distinct step in the right direction but not yet substantial enough in financial pulling power.
“The PSL and Hollywoodbets Super League are the highest competitions for men and women respectively in SA. All of the sponsorships on the women’s side combined is less than any of the competitions in the PSL. Even one that runs over 2 to 3 weeks is more than the total revenue for women’s football,” said Jordaan. “How many times have you seen Banyana Banyana on all of these TV stations? Never.
“How many discussions focus on women? There are always about men on these channels every day, even the referees. How many discussions and focus areas are on women? Zero. The revenue gap is now well understood.
“You are the media, I’m not the journalist. Our Banyana stars mentioned how many of them are educated at tertiary level and how everyone’s smart. I agree with her.
“Who speaks to them? Nobody. The only reprieve you have is that it’s not just a problem in SA, but in the world.”
The veteran administrator, viewed as controversial from certain quarters, quantified his sentiments by pointing out that after France won the 2018 men’s World Cup, the side walked away with a winner’s cheque of $40 million.
A year later, the USA women’s team received $4 million for their exploits.
Jordaan though did confirm that SAFA had entered into discussions with current and prospective sponsors with regards to increased investment, which took place on Wednesday.
“When are we going to have a fully professional league? It will be when we stop pointing fingers and become allies in this issue. You [the media] have an important role to play. What I can say, we’re having meetings with all the sponsors and other prospective ones.
“They must recognise that a women’s football match is less than 5% in value to a men’s one. It’s a South African conversation, your conversation and ours. We’ll lead on that front. “We are meeting with sponsors on the same question. I hope I sketch the mountain we must climb. We’re determined to climb it together.
“I hope you have your cameras there when we’re on top and we can show how green the valley is,” he said.