The South African Football Association (SAFA) Vice President Ria Ledwaba is optimistic that the much anticipated National Women’s League will be sustainable. The league will kick-off on Saturday, August 24 at the Nike Training Centre in Soweto.

According to Ledwaba, from a sponsorship point of view, the support for the National Women’s League looks positive.

“It looks very positive, you only announce a sponsor when you have put the pen to paper but currently we do have the basics of knowing that this league will be sustainable, we know that we are ready for the league to flourish,” said the SAFA Vice President speaking to Thabiso Mosia on SAfm-Sport On.

Initially, the inaugural Women’s National League was due to start in April but was postponed by SAFA due to the fact that some of the teams had players on national duty for Banyana Banyana in the recently concluded FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

At the beginning of the year, SAFA said that they have put aside R10 million from the legacy trust as an investment to ensure the National Women’s League will be able to start.

The department of Sport, Arts and Culture have apparently kept their promise to support the league. Ledwaba said that they (SAFA) have put figures on the table…they have an agreement in principle with the Sport Minister, Nathi Mthethwa. “He is indeed prepared to support the league and also see the sustainability of the league.”

“Last week all the teams were in Johannesburg for a meeting, they have been given all the necessary documentation needed…I am sure right now they are busy preparing themselves for Saturday and Sunday, exciting times, we are looking forward to this league because we believe it will strengthen our National team”- Ledwaba.

According to the SAFA’s Acting General Manager for Football Business, Mr Mzwandile Maforvane, the Association has been hard at work in preparation for this weekend’s matches and ensuring that the league kicks off.

“We urge fans in and around Soweto to come out in their numbers in support of the women’s game. “For the league to be a success, we need all stakeholders, which include media and fans to show their support and assist in taking the league forward,” said Maforvane.

This weekend, all the matches will be played in Soweto, Nike Training Centre with all the teams scheduled to play.

The opening game of the Women’s National League will see Bloemfontein Celtic ladies take on the University of Western Cape Ladies FC (UWC) on Saturday at 10h00. Durban Ladies will look to avoid a wave train when they the Tsunami Queens at 12h30. The last game of the day will see Coal City Wizards face University of Johannesburg ladies (UJ) at 15h30.

On Sunday, the first fixture will be between Golden Ladies against Thunderbirds Ladies at 10h00 while First Touch Academy will lock horns against the Sasol League National Champions Tshwane University of Technology Ladies (TUT) at 12h30 while Tshwane giants, Mamelodi Sundowns will be up against Richmond Ladies at in the last game of the day at 15h30.

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