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Home / Time to treat women’s football fairly - Traut …as NFA Cup returns

Time to treat women’s football fairly - Traut …as NFA Cup returns

2024-02-23  Maurice Kambukwe

Time to treat women’s football fairly - Traut …as NFA Cup returns

AS the Namibia Football Association (NFA) gears up for the much-anticipated return of the NFA Cup, interim secretary-general Jochen Traut has made a bold declaration that it’s time to treat women’s football with the fairness it deserves.

The decision taken by the local governing body on Wednesday to include women in this year’s NFA Cup marks a significant departure from tradition.

Speaking to New Era Sport, Traut highlighted the longstanding treatment disparity faced by women in football. He emphasised the need to rectify this, saying the motivation for these changes stems from the NFA’s commitment to revolutionising women’s football and affording it the equitable treatment it deserves alongside its male counterparts.

“Historically, women’s football has been overlooked in various aspects, from salaries to project opportunities, among others. Yet, their achievements speak volumes, and it’s time we elevated their status and ensure they receive their rightful share of recognition,” he said.

The news was met with widespread applause from stakeholders, including Sham Gure, the head coach of Ongos Ladies FC. Gure hailed the move as historic, recognising its potential to benefit both clubs in the league and the senior national team.

“I believe the inclusion of women in this tournament is a positive development, signifying the growing recognition of women’s football — a significant milestone indeed.

This decision holds great potential, not only for teams in the FNB Women’s Super League (WSL) but also for the national women’s team, as it opens doors for increased exposure and fosters a higher level of competition. I believe all WSL teams are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to make their mark in this tournament,” he said.

The competition will kick off with preliminary rounds for various divisions next month, with the round of 32 scheduled for April.

Jeremy Zimmer, head coach of defending champions Civics, welcomed the tournament’s return, anticipating heightened competition and increased exposure for players.

“We welcome the return of the FA Cup, as I firmly believe it will provide a substantial boost to both local and international football scenes. With an increase in the number of games, players will enjoy more minutes on the field, enhancing their game time as clubs compete week in and week out. Moreover, participation in the cup introduces a different atmosphere, fostering an environment that encourages players to perform at their best,” he said. Tamhila Ambrosius, chairman of Chula Chula, expressed excitement about their chance to compete in the tournament once more. Reflecting on past experiences, Ambrosius sees the revival of the FA Cup as an opportunity for clubs to strive for excellence and win silverware.

“We’re excited about the tournament’s return; it presents us a good opportunity to compete at our best. Although we’ve participated in previous editions, our journey was cut short in 2014 when we were knocked out in the round of 16 despite a commendable performance.

Nevertheless, we view the revival of the FA Cup as a commendable initiative by the NFA. It not only affords us more game time but also provides a platform for clubs like ours, who aspire to win silverware, to strive for success once again,” he said.

Woody Jacobs, former Brave Gladiators head coach, hailed the return of the FA Cup as a positive sign for Namibian football’s future. He emphasised the tournament’s potential to benefit clubs and players alike, contributing to the overall development of the sport.

“There are numerous ways in which the return of the FA Cup will benefit players. Right now, Namibian football is experiencing a surge of positive developments — the recent success of our national men's team at Afcon and the revival of the FA Cup exemplify this progress. It’s a testament to Namibia moving in the right direction.

“The significance of this tournament cannot be overstated, and its return promises various benefits for all involved. Increased playing time for players will undoubtedly contribute to their development. When players are in optimal shape, it also greatly benefits the national team. I wholeheartedly welcome this tournament as it aligns with our aspirations for the advancement of Namibian football,” Jacobs expressed.

Brave Warriors coach Collin Benjamin praised the NFA for reviving the tournament for the women’s teams, saying it was long overdue.

“I love it. This is a fantastic development for women’s football in particular, as well as our football in general. This will afford all the players more game time and aid their development. The FA Cup will also afford us as national selectors an opportunity to see the players performing in high-pressure games,” he said.

According to Wikipedia statistics, current Debmarine Premiership champion African Stars hold the record for the most FA Cup victories with five titles, closely followed by Chief Santos with four titles. Tigers, Orlando Pirates, and Black Africa have each clinched the trophy three times, while Civics boast two FA Cup triumphs. Additionally, Blue Waters, Liverpool, Ramblers, Eleven Arrows, and Young African have each secured the cup once.

2024-02-23  Maurice Kambukwe

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