… while Real Betis partner FC Platinum
Harare – The CAF Women’s Champions League Southern Region qualifiers will be held in Durban, South Africa from August 26 to September 4 this year.
The draw for the seven participating COSAFA clubs was held last week and it threw up some potentially fascinating battles in the inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League. Only one team from Southern Africa will qualify for the continental tourney.
COSAFA Secretary-General Sue Destombes last week said: “We are delighted that Durban has shown its commitment to women’s football with the staging of our crucial TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League COSAFA Qualifier.
“This competition serves not only as an historic first club tournament for COSAFA but is also the qualifier for the inaugural TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League that will be staged in Cairo later this year.
“Our plans for a COSAFA Women’s Champions League have been long in the making and we are delighted to have found such world-class host as Durban for us to launch this new era in our football.”
Seven teams from the region will do battle in two groups, one with four teams and the other with three. The top two in each group progress to the semi-finals.
In Group A are Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), Lesotho Defence Forces (Lesotho), Double Action Ladies (Botswana) and Manzini Wanderers (Eswatini). Group B comprises of Green Buffaloes (Zambia), Tura Magic (Namibia), and Black Rhinos Queens (Zimbabwe).
Meanwhile in men’s football, as part of its drive to enhance its presence in Southern Africa, Spain’s La Liga has facilitated twinning of Real Betis Balompié with Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum.
The partnership, sealed last Friday, will see the two teams exchanging notes on training and coaching among other key areas.
FC Platinum have won the Zimbabwean league title for the last three successive seasons and will participate in the CAF Men’s Champions league starting next month.
After last week’s signing ceremony, Real Betis GM (business) Ramón Alarcón said; “I am very happy to sign this agreement. We share the industry … We share the colours — green and white — and more importantly, we share the vision.
“Both of us believe that the football industry is not only the sports area. It is an industry. It is a business and there are many different areas that should be developed. There is the digital transformation and there is game engagement.”
FC Platinum president Fabian Mashingaidze added: “We feel very good; we feel very honoured to be here to enter into this partnership with our partner, Real Betis. We realise that we cannot re-invent the wheel. It is better to learn from those who have done it before us. We think that the model Real Betis is showing, is a model we can copy and replicate and adapt it to our situation as well.”Real Betis launched an academy in Zimbabwe last year.