Why is Sasol involved in Women’s Football or Why is Women’s Football important to Sasol?
Sasol is a company with a proudly South African heritage and we continue to make great strides in breaking gender barriers on and off the field (in business and sport). It is a demonstration of our commitment to women empowerment and gender equality, using sports as a vehicle to do so.
Through this sponsorship, women have been afforded opportunities to realise their dreams of playing in a women’s football league, the Sasol League, and possible selection into Banyana Banyana.
Looking back over the past 8 years of the sponsorship, what have been Sasol’s proudest moment (both Banyana Banyana & Sasol League)?
We have made great strides in the last eight years. The Sasol League has provided an opportunity for over 3600 female footballers to play regular competitive football which has undoubtedly led to an improved standard of the women’s game in the country.
Among numerous accomplishments, the Senior National Women’s Football team qualified for back-to-back Olympic Games in 2012 and 2016. To date, they are still the only South African national football team to achieve this feat. In addition to this the sponsorship has opened doors for female football players to obtain bursaries at institutions of higher learning through football with 35 of the 46 core players in the national team either studying or with qualifications.
What is Sasol’s vision for Women’s Football in South Africa?
Sasol would like to see the support for women’s sport increase dramatically. There are numerous aspects to this, from having more people watch Sasol League and Banyana Banyana matches, to regular broadcasting of these matches on mainstream television which will ultimately lead to women footballers being on par with their male counterparts, both in terms of exposure and remuneration.
This will require serious effort not only from us but other stakeholders as well including having other corporate South African brands coming on board. With solid backing, the sky is the limit for women’s football in South Africa.
SAFA talks about the professional Women’s League that is coming in 2019, what is Sasol’s role in this League?
I believe that this is a football question and should be directed to our partner (SAFA) as they will be more versed on the matter.
You have renewed your partnership with SAFA for a further period of 4 years, what is the value of this sponsorship?
Due to contractual obligations, I am not in a position to divulge the figures involved between the two parties.
What would Sasol like to see happen in the next four years?
We would like to see women’s football continue growing from strength to strength.
The Sasol League continues to lead the way in the development of women’s football and we would like to see its impact grow even further which as we have seen leads to stronger women’s national teams.
This for us will be a major highlight as well as seeing Banyana Banyana qualifying for, and winning the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, representing our country at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and competing against the best in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.