597 ANCWL's delegats on the first day of the leaugue's 11th conference held in Bloemfontein. 030708. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - The possibility that women might be banned from certain areas in stadiums during the Afcon tournament was shocking, the ANC Women's League said on Thursday.

“The ANCWL is shocked and appalled at reports that some of the Afcon teams... feel women in stadiums are bad luck,” spokeswoman Troy Martens said in a statement.

She was commenting on a report that women would not be allowed in the lower level of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, near where the players' change rooms were.

The Africa Cup of Nations tournament's organisers were unavailable for comment.

“It is a travesty that in a country such as South Africa the whims of these teams would be considered by our local organisers,” Martens said.

According to the report in the Daily Sun, Ghana, the DR Congo, Mali and Niger had raised concerns.

The tournament was scheduled to start on Saturday at the National Stadium (FNB Stadium) in Soweto.

“South African women are ardent soccer supporters and it is insulting to have them discriminated in this manner based on the nonsensical belief that women bring bad luck,” Martens said.

The league said it was confident such discrimination would not happen.

“Never in the history of sports events hosted in South Africa has the ANCWL ever heard of such absurdity. We call on all women sports fans to refuse this kind of treatment and demand the equal rights enshrined in our Constitution,” Martens said. - Sapa