Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has been named to a FIFA Technical Advisory Group which has been tasked to advance and grow women’s football.
DURBAN – Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has been named to a 21-person FIFA Technical Advisory Group which has been tasked to advance and grow women’s football.
The team will be tasked with helping to promote football among women, increasing the quality of play and increasing access to opportunity for women in a sport which continues to remain male-dominated.
The project will be led by English-American coach Jill Ellis who outlined initial plans for the group. “I’m honoured to be chosen by FIFA to lead this project,” Jill Ellis said.
“The growth of women’s football is a key objective for FIFA. Like any initiative, the first step is to gather all of the information and start to make next steps for now this advisory group can be impactful for tangible change for the growth and advancement of the women’s game.
“It’s time for women’s football to definitely assume the importance it has at all levels and create its own path of growth and advancement, notwithstanding the obviously necessary coordination with the men’s game namely to avoid calendar overlaps.”
Meanwhile, Desiree Ellis has attracted staunch praise for the work that she has done to grow Banyana Banyana since being appointed head coach of the women’s national team in 2016.
Under the leadership of the 58-year-old, Banyana finished as runners-up in the 2018 African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) while also qualifying for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.
After years of struggling to achieve a high level of consistency, Banyana Banyana developed into one of the best women’s teams in the African continent under Ellis, despite lacking access to the same level of developmental resources and funding compared to their Bafana Bafana counterparts.