Senior Sports Reporter
AS CAF opens the bidding process for the country that will host the inaugural Total CAF Women’s Champions League 2021, ZIFA have re-confirmed that they will field a representative team in the competition.
The continental body has scheduled the tournament to be staged either in October, November or December. And CAF have invited interested countries to submit their applications before March 31.
On Thursday, CAF, in a statement, invited bids. “CAF has opened the bidding process for the country that will host the inaugural Total CAF Women’s Champions League 2021.
“The Total CAF Women’s Champions League 2021 competition will be organised during the period of October, November or December each year as per resolution of the CAF Executive Committee. “Seven teams will qualify for the final tournament through qualifiers organised by the zonal unions in addition to the champion club from the host country who gains automatic qualification.
“National Associations are requested to present their bidding files containing the stadiums (two stadiums are required) and training facilities (four training sites at least), accommodation plans (that can host the eight teams), in addition to the official government guarantee. Closing date is 31 March 2021.”
Already South Africa have expressed interest in hosting the inaugural competition.
Clubs from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and other southern region countries are expected to battle it out first in the zonal competition which will be run by COSAFA with the representative then expected to meet other clubs from the seven countries in the Champions League.
COSAFA have since indicated they will roll out the tournament between May and August, starting with the preliminaries. It will serve as a zonal qualifier for the inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League.
Having SAFA bidding to host the competition will add excitement to the southern region zone which will be guaranteed of two slots at the maiden competition. ZIFA board member responsible for technical and development, Brighton Malandule, yesterday said the board has already made a decision to have a club in the competition.
Black Rhinos Queens are the last team which won the local league title in 2019 before women’s football in this country went on a long Covid-19-induced break.
And the army side are expected to represent the country at the club continental competition.
“Through COSAFA, we will have our own Champions League and a representative to the CAF Champions League. “We need our teams to compete at the highest level. The more we play against other stronger oppositions, the more our football will improve.
“We have already, as the main board, agreed to participate in this tournament. In fact, we shall participate in most of these competitions including the World Cup qualifiers. It is good for our women’s football,” said Malandule. “As long as our players are not competitive enough, we will always complain. We are still at the developmental stage and as you can see Zambia has overtaken us and Botswana have been developing well and are now doing better than us.