‘It is vital’ – Ellis urges Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates to emulate Manchester United and Real Madrid

The Soweto giants are without a women’s club and the Banyana tactician has urged them to launch one each to grow the women’s game

Desiree Ellis has challenged the country’s PSL’s biggest teams Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates to emulate Manchester United and Real Madrid.

The English and Spanish giants were the only biggest teams in their countries without a professional women’s team until the clubs’ top brass finally moved to establish one each in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

In South Africa, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates are currently the only PSL top clubs without a women’s team, and both are based in Soweto where the Safa Women’s National League (SWNL) was launched last year.

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Mamelodi Sundowns emerged inaugural SWNL champions for the 2019-20 season and the Banyana Banyana tactician believes the Soweto giants can help grow the women’s game.

“It is vital for Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates to form women’s teams. They also need to come on board and sponsors will also come on board,” Ellis recently told media. 

“The only big team in England that didn’t have a women’s team was Manchester United. Now, they have a team. It was the same as Real Madrid. You’ve seen how the Spanish leagues have grown and how the sponsorship has improved.

“I don’t want to use the word but PSL clubs should be forced to have women’s teams and not just have a women’s team for the sake of having it, but give them support and the necessary development similar to what they are giving to their male counterparts. 

Desiree Ellis - South Africa

“We will also see a huge shift in the mindset of people and sponsors will come on board. I know Jessica Motaung (Chiefs marketing director) has been asked many times (about forming a women’s team) even by Fifa. 

“I don’t know what is the stumbling block. I ask them once again to take women’s football to another level. Maybe they are still looking at the cost. 

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“If you see what they spend on the men’s team, the cost will be like a drop in the ocean. They already have so many women supporters. 

“That (investing in women’s football) will help increase their fan base. If they come on board, it will change the landscape of women’s football in the country.”

Ellis led South Africa to their first-ever Women’s World Cup in France a year ago after they finished as runners-up at the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations in 2018.

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