South Africa: The Falcons Are Soaring, but They Have Been Red Carded By Funding Obstacles

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Soccer ball.

The Falcons Ladies Football Team, a Stellenbosch high school soccer team, has the chance to be the first female South African team to compete in the world's biggest youth tournament since the 1990s. Although they earned their place in the competition, the Falcons are struggling to raise the funds to compete - a problem that persists even at the national level.

In the middle of the Cape Winelands, in southern Stellenbosch, a group of 21 teenage girls spend their Wednesday afternoons at soccer practice.

The girls gather on the field at Stellenzicht Secondary School, in Jamestown, for warm-up exercises against a backdrop of Hottentots-Holland Mountains. Some wear tracksuits, others a mix of casual clothes and school uniforms.

These girls make up the Falcons Ladies Football Team. First formed in 2016, the current team consists of girls aged from 14 to 17. Back in 2016, the team didn't have a name and were not playing competitively.

"They couldn't even kick a ball properly," head coach Shaun Daniels told Daily Maverick.

Daniels came on board with...

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