09 August 2022 South African Football Association (SAFA) referees committee chairperson Natasha Tsichlas has paid tribute to the many women who have contributed immensely to the growth of the game in the country.

Tsichlas said women have made their mark and she saluted their achievements as South Africa celebrates Women’s Day today.  

“I want to say with Women’s Day coming up today, I feel very proud and blessed because throughout the years, especially this year, we have had so much success as women, and generally as SAFA,” the SAFA referees committee chairperson said.

“Our women have the character, the strength of champions, and not only the Banyana Banyana team and the players, but also the technical staff and the SAFA members.

“I would also like to thank the support we have received from the men because I believe that without their support, it would be very, very difficult. We also thank the support from the president himself [SAFA president Dr Danny Jordaan].”

Women’s football in the country continues to scale dizzy heights as South Africa are the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) champions after beating hosts Morocco 2-1 in the final in Rabat last month. Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis was named Women’s Coach of the Year at the 2022 CAF Awards also last month. It was the third consecutive time that she has won the award. 

Andile Dlamini won the Goalkeeper of the Year Award while the SASOL-sponsored South African senior women’s national team were named the National Team of the Year. Banyana Banyana were also named as the Fair Play Team to put the cherry on the icing.

“So altogether, we have created a win-win situation for our women and therefore I would like to wish each and every woman to be strong, always,” Tsichlas continued. “We can do it, we can make a difference for our children and as mothers, as sisters and as women, we are blessed.

“The way we are growing and the way things are going in South Africa in football, you can see that the sky is the limit.”