Lutfeyah loves and lives soccer

Soccer administrator Lutfeyah Abrahams spends most of her time interacting with youngsters across the city.

Liverpool-Portland FC chairperson Lutfeyah Abrahams, was beaming with pride following news of her club’s junior sides’ dominance at the weekend’s Mitchell’s Plain LFA (MPLFA) knockout finals.

The under-10s, under-12s and under-14s won their respective age divisions.

A passionate soccer supporter, Abrahams also serves as a secretary and a treasurer of the MPLFA and is one of few women to be a part of Safa Cape Town and Safa’s provincial and national structures.

Abrahams has more than 26 years experience in local football, since starting as a typical “football mom”, who would take her children to the soccer field.

After years of watching, learning and applying her motherly instincts, she now advocates for more women to get involved in the sport.

She says that among others, Banyana Banyana’s performance at last month’s Cosafa Cup, which they lifted for the sixth consecutive time and the job done by the four women officials who officiated in the recent UEFA Super Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool, prove that women are capable of doing anything they put their minds to.

When Plainsman visited Abrahams at her place of work, in Gugulethu, she was surrounded by a friendly group of mothers who spend their time volunteering and helping some of the disabled youngsters at Project Playground (PPG), an NGO that uses soccer to promote social development

Abrahams said these dedicated women keep her motivated and inspired.

“We have the skills and if we do it properly we can make a change. ‘Unity is a form of success’, that’s our motto at Liverpool Portland.

“Cape Town used to have a lot of players in the national squad. If they are not on there, it means there’s something we’re not doing right.

“It all starts at grassroots level. Football is a tool we use to steer the players away from social ills. We need to up our game to get our soccer on the map again”.

Abrahams says local football associations have a lot of teams that can combine to form one strong team.

“We can’t have 30 to 40 clubs in one LFA and still have poor football.”

She says she would love to see more women get involved in the beautiful game.

“In most of the general council meetings I’m usually the only woman that stands up and speaks, which is sad. We should challenge ourselves,” she says.