South Africa's Sheryl Botes (right), a CAF Woman Instructor of Instructors. Photo: Supplied
South Africa's Sheryl Botes (right), a CAF Woman Instructor of Instructors. Photo: Supplied

Unlike CAF World Cup qualifiers, Women's Champions League final will have VAR available

By Herman Gibbs Time of article published Nov 18, 2021

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Cape Town - Unlike the recent CAF World Cup qualifiers played in various parts of Africa last weekend, the final of the inaugural CAF Women's Champions League in Cairo on Friday will have VAR (Video assistant referee) available at the 30 June Stadium.

Ghana's Hasaacas Ladies will play South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns in the final on Friday evening.

In the absence of VAR, television replay footage showed that human errors had a substantial influence on match results during the recent CAF World Cup qualifiers. Matters came to a boil in Ghana over the weekend when South Africa were dumped out of the World Cup qualifying race because of a dubious penalty.

The news came out of Wednesday's press conference held by the CAF WCL Technical Study Group in Cairo. One of the keynote speakers was South Africa's Sheryl Botes, a CAF Woman Instructor of Instructors. She is based at the High Performance Centre at the University of Pretoria, where she is the head coach of the SAFA Girls Soccer Academy.

ALSO READ: Sundowns Ladies reach CAF Women's Champions League semi-finals

Botes was impressed with the standard of play at the Champion League matches over the last while.

“The level of this tournament is very high, and it is important to showcase this to the world," said Botes.

"A key to that is having experienced coaches that lead the teams. It is not just about the physicality of the teams, it is also about different strategies. The fact that we have this number of quality coaches says volumes about this tournament.

“There’s no one good formula in football. On a matchday, everything can happen. It is about which players can apply the strategy along with the spirit and the will to win.

ALSO READ: Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies nail down a semi-final berth after defeating Nigeria's flag bearers Rivers Angels

“I was very impressed with Morocco’s ASFAR. Their offensive tactics and the way they play as a team and individually, they are brilliant and play good football.

Botes also singled out Evelyn Badu (Hasaacas) and Andile Dlamini (Sundowns) for their superb performances in the group phase.

“Evelyn Badu is intelligent for her age. She is the link between all sides of her team. Defensively, she is smart and helps her team a fair bit," said Botes.

“Andile Dlamini is a part of the national team, she’s a good goalkeeper when it comes to penalty kicks. It was a key decision from Mamelodi Sundowns to bring two great goalkeepers, as Rabalao showed great performance as well.

“My money is on Mamelodi Sundowns to win the final."

Clémentine Touré, the CAF and FIFA instructor, is heading up the study group in Cairo during the Champions League matches. She is also the head coach of the Côte d’Ivoire women’s national team. She hails from the famous football Touré family and is a sister of the world-famous Kolo and Yaya.

After 14 matches in the tournament, 34 goals were scored, with 22 different scorers. She was impressed with the match strategies employed by the leading teams.

"This tournament proves the huge awakening women’s football is having now in Africa,” said Touré.

“Both of the finalists finished the group stage in the first place, so it will be a strong final game.

“I congratulate Wadi Degla (of Egypt) for being a very good tactical team. Their goalkeeper is on a very high level and is very experienced.

"They deserved to get further than the group stage, but if they continue playing like this, I’m sure they’ll be huge soon.

"In the game against Malabo Kings, they only lacked some experience. Their number seven Jasmin Theres showed good quality.

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