Monday, August 2, 2010



The World Cup has come and gone – an outstanding success for South Africa. Yet immediately on the heels of the tournament has come the Fifa Under- 21 Women’s World Cup finals going on now. Why is it that the spotlight on the current tournament is so limited; almost non-existent? Lebohang Masisi spoke to Maria Mohanoe, Free State female football enthusiast and pundit, on this

MASISI: There is a World Cup on now, for women. Why it is that apart from the very limited coverage, there is hardly any enthusiasm about it?

MARIA: Let’s get one thing straight first – millions of women and men love female football not only in this country, but all over the world. The women’s World Cup is big – being beamed live around the world to many countries too. And we all remember the great days of South African women’s football, the days of Desiree Ellis, etc. But we must remember that the euphoria over the 2010 men’s World Cup was extraordinary; it was history for us, for Africa, hosting the world. It was just too much. There was some sort of anti-climax after we successfully staged it…it’s like we needed a break; but immediately the tournament was over, Fifa began to stage the World Cup finals for women too. For people like me I have watched more or less all the women’s games live from Germany.

MASISI: Some people say that because South Africa did not qualify for the finals of the women’s World Cup, the interest is not just there…

MARIA: I’m afraid I can not agree. See how during the men’s World Cup we totally supported countries like Ghana and Ivory Coast. Right now Ghana, together with Nigeria, are playing at the women’s World Cup finals, representing Africa (in Germany). We support them. The problem is that the coverage has not been really there on popular TV, not everybody has DSTV. How many people know that Ghana and Nigeria have been doing well at the women’s World Cup now?

MASISI: What about the general standard of football for women? Many say again that it’s not up to scratch

MARIA: Those are the ignorant ones; the people who criticize without even watching the ladies playing. Just watch the games yourself and you will see how wonderful the girls have been playing. In some ways they are much better than the men playing (football). The ladies are very skilful, but most important they do not play in a brutal, nasty, dirty way like men do many times. They respect each other. Clean football at its best. Let’s enjoy the Women’s World Cup!

NOTE: The Nigerian soccer side made it to the very final of the wmen's World Cup, defeating USA and Columbia along the way. The final match was won by Germany who beat Nigeria 2-0