Category : Football | Posted on 2020-06-25 By : @LimarMedia Image : Google
Multiple award winning sports journalist Busisiwe Mokwena says she would work with world football governing body FIFA again given the opportunity and that’s not even dependent on whether South Africa qualifies for one of their events or not. Mokwena said this as she was reflecting on her role as a FIFA team reporter for team South Africa at the 2019 FIFA women’s world cup in France.
Mokwena shared her experience of being at the world showpiece with Frunsport.com and about the eighth of June 2019 the day Banyana Banyana made their world cup debut against Spain at Stade Le Havre.
“Dude I was super nervous on that day, I was very nervous on the day. I remember I called my mother we prayed on the phone together. I remember when I chose my outfit of the day I was gonna wear a suit cause that’s what we wore on match days a suit but I got my boyfriend to help me choose the belt to wear on the day and the perfume to wear on the day but it was extremely nerve wrecking,” explained Mokwena.
The Kaya FM sport reporter also remembers how overcome with nerves she was that she didn’t even celebrate Thembi Kgatlana’s 25th minute opening goal against Spain.
“I remember when I sat at the media tribune alongside with my Spanish counterpart Elisa (Revuelta) I was really nervous because she’s a fulltime FIFA employee so she’s used to this and nna I’m sitting there for the first time, I couldn’t celebrate when Thembi scored that goal,” added Mokwena.
A year after the milestone achieved by the South African national senior women’s side not much has changed in Mokwena’s view though she applauds the launch of the inaugural SAFA National Women’s league (SNWL).
However the campaign won by Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies was run amateurishly where matches didn’t kick off time at some venues, match officials would be late and the officiating itself was suspicious, teams travelling long distances for fixtures via road and players still not earning salaries for their labour.
Mokwena who has covered women’s football for a decade says the reason women’s football is doing well in Europe is because it is professionalised.
“I thought when it (SNWL) was launched I thought maybe we are going in the right direction but the problem once it was launched it was treated the same way that they had been treating the Sasol league."
"There was still the issue with the grants, if teams would be getting grants, if these teams would be able to pay their players and referees not coming on time at matches."
"Unfortunately not much has changed. The only reason why women’s football is doing well in Europe is because they treat it professionally, they are paid better they are paid on time,” said Mokwena.
Mokwena believes a shift needs to happen in how women’s football is viewed in this country from the authorities, to supporters and media coverage.
“I think especially big media houses we don’t cover women’s football well. You will see a woman football player getting a team overseas and there won’t be a lot of coverage on that. As journalists we also need to change our mindset when it comes to women’s football. We make women’s football a second thought,” added Mokwena.
Mokwena however is pleased that with the world cup appearance a lot of South African girls made overseas moves which opened way here at home for others to be promoted into the Banyana squad.
“A lot of players got moves abroad after the world cup but also it wasn’t only the players who played at the world it was the other players getting into the Banyana squad after the world cup who got contract to play overseas and the numbers of players who are playing professionally is very good right now,” concluded Mokwena.