24 August 2018 – President of the South African Football Association (SAFA), Dr Danny Jordaan, has told participants at the recently-ended FIFA Women’s Administrators Course not to make it a talkshop as there is a lot of work to be done.
Dr Jordaan was talking at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Edition of the event, which came to end on Thursday, 23 August 2018 at the SAFA Technical Centre (Fun Valley).
The workshop was organised by the Association and funded by the world governing body FIFA. This was the third workshop of its kind, with the first two editions held in 2016 and 2017.
Fifty-two (52) Regional Executive Officers – the women who run football in their respective regions – were invited to the gathering, as well as referees and Provincial Techical Officers (PTO).
HERE IS Dr JORDAAN’S VERSION OF HIS ADDRESS:
It is so good to be here, I am also happy that I have had the opportunity to come and address you at this very important gathering.
While there has been segregation in this country for a very long time, the truth is women have been more sidelined – with more opportunities for men.
Previously, there were structures for men and for women running separately and I would like to start by saying do not allow for separate structures for men and women in your areas. In a church you don’t find separation, so why should we have that in football – you must fight against it.
Instead, serve one structure and assert yourself in that structure. Ask yourself are there girls playing football in your respective areas; then engage the leaders to make changes if there are none. There are 52 SAFA Regions – on average we should have about 20 000 active girls per Region.
But for us to get there, we also need coaches to take care of those players. We should use the ration of one coach for 20 players, because at the moment it is one coach for every 200 players – and that will definitely not work. Top countries like Portugal, Spain and England have a ratio of 1/20 and that is the way to go if we want to be world beaters.
We need an additional 100 000 coaches, who must come from the regions; we need to produce those numbers over the next four years for us to make headway.
We should have workshops in your regions, because we have a lot of work to do. We are not here to talk and get certificates. We must walk the talk!
SAFA is bigger than all the sporting codes combined in this country, and if we can reach our target of the number of coaches then South Africa will get where we need to be. Secondly, there is a lack of exposure for women’s football. What can we do?
Of all the sporting codes, rugby, cricket, even the PSL included, there are more women football players with overseas clubs and yet we (SAFA) don’t make noise about them. They leave the country and disappear just like that. It should not be like that; in men’s football when a player leaves (the country) we know everything about their every move. We must have a structure that makes it possible for us to keep track of these girls as well because what you don’t see doesn’t exist. We must shine the light on all the work women are doing wherever they are.
We have to do more to promote the womens football. Players must be managed not only when they are in the team but also when they are out. If we do that sponsors will come, because at the moment they can’t sponsor something they can’t see. They want to sponsor a product that is alive.
I am very happy with the response from the women who have attended this gathering. We have formed a women’s committee, and they are vibrant, this is a good sign. At FIFA the same is happening, more and more women are occupying top positions. Focus on women’s football is key. In this country, the biggest sport is football – and women’s foootbal is the 9th biggest in the county. If we continue with this rise, they will be even bigger than rugby.
And for us to make even more strides, the players must be quality, referees be of high standard and the coaches be the same too.
Once again, I am glad you were able to make it here but I want to add that certificates are not for the wall – yes you can hang them up on the walls but work is on the ground. We need you to work, we need workers.
If you look at all our women’s national teams, we have appointed women coaches for all our teams – Desiree Ellis (Banyana Banyana), Maud Khumalo (U20 – Basetsana), Simphiwe Dludlu (U17 – Bantwana). When I started, all our women’s teams were led by men, and I asked myself ‘what do you want as a man in a women’s dressing room?’ Think of the dignity of a woman. Why is it that men’s teams are not coached by women? If we don’t give our women coaches the opportunity to coach women teams, no one will. And they have done well.
Just remember that you have the support of FIFA and CAF in everything you do. You must contest the power from inside, not outside, in that way you will make inroads. We have in our SAFA Constitition that in every SAFA region if the president is a man then the vice should be a woman. As we speak, the Overberg Region, it is dominated by women.
We want women to take their rightful place. When we started with the political struggle in this country years ago, it was for the betterment of men and women, not one gender.
In conclusion, when all is said and done, we will call you to account on the gains of this gathering. We will want to check how many players you have produced, how many coaches, referees and how many administrators you have produced.
We will want a comprehensive report from you, so as you go back to your respective regions we expect you to roll up your sleeves and do the work – work on the ideas, proposals, discussions and agreements you had here. Let this not be a talkshop and we meet again next time to disucss the same issues, we need a way forward for us to progress.
Once again, I am glad and proud of all of you for putting this together. You have done a very good job, and now let’s continue with the work when we return to our areas – let this meeting not be a waste of time for everyone.