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Safa: 2023 Women’s World Cup bid aimed at boosting the game in Africa

Banyana Banyana have qualified for their maiden Fifa Women’s World Cup in France in June 2019, which has skyrocketed the team’s profile.

FILE: Picture: @fifawomensworldcup/Facebook.com.

CAPE TOWN - Acting South African Football Association (Safa) CEO Russel Paul says their expression of interest and a potential bid for 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup is because of their desire to grow the women’s game even more in Africa.

The other nations in the running are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Japan and New Zealand.

South Korean officials have claimed that they have been approached by Fifa about the possibility of entering a joint bid along with North Korea. Each of the bidding nations has until 16 April 2019 to lodge their official paperwork with Fifa.

South Africa’s national women’s team have qualified for their maiden Fifa Women’s World Cup in France in June 2019, which has skyrocketed the team’s profile.

Paul says it’s the perfect time to continue building the women’s game.

“With the qualification of Banyana Banyana, there is no greater impetus for us to move forward. We want to grow our base of women’s football from just over 450,000 to a million in 2022.

“So, this is the ideal platform. We believe that will help us spur on the growth of women’s football. There has been so much interest since Banyana have qualified and we want to keep that momentum going and that’s obviously the main reason that we’ve done it.”

Paul also wants to align with the government’s strategy regarding women’s sport. Under Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa, there has been renewed interest in women’s sports across the codes.

“We know that the government has shown a very strong interest in the promotion of women’s sports. Obviously, we believe that it’s part of our mandate. This decision was taken at a congress not so long ago with the members saying that we need to move forward,” Paul said.

Paul says they have notified the government about Fifa’s demands around their tournaments and properties: “We also alerted the government about our interest, and we told them the challenges that we have in terms of how Fifa operates.

“We have submitted that letter to them and we would now be sitting down with them in the coming days to explain and unpacking the requirements of Fifa for this bid. Once that is done we will have to, with the government, decide how the next process unfolds.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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