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South Africa's only lesbian soccer team play to fight prejudice

Posted By: Staff

Johannesburg, May 13 (ANI): South Africa's only lesbian soccer team, 'Chosen Few', plays to fight for their rights and eradicate prejudice.

The team plays with skill and great zeal despite the waste-ground that is bordered by a large puddle on which they are obliged to train, a few hundred meters from the imposing Constitutional Court in central Johannesburg.

"We tried many other places.

"But they just won't let us in," 24.com quoted Lerato Marumolwa, one of the best players, as saying.

Such injustice perpetrated in a country that is admired for its post-apartheid constitution - the first in the world to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

But injustice against lesbians in South Africa is commonplace. More than 30 lesbians are reported murdered in the last decade, and the British NGO ActionAid said in a report last year there was an increasing trend of homophobic attacks and murders by men who believed they would "cure" lesbian women.

The 'Chosen Few' was launched in 2004 by the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) in support of lesbians in the country.

The group demonstrated outside the court where one of the murderers of former South African national women's soccer team player Eudy Simelane was tried and sentenced last year, for raping and stabbing her.

The team won bronze medals in the soccer competition at the Gay Games in Chicago in 2006 and at the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association Cup in London two years later.

Phindi Malaza, the FEW programmes coordinator and manager of the Chosen Few, said almost all FEW's funding came from overseas and there was no backing from the South African government despite the constitution.

"I feel there is really no support in government or the political leadership. You never hear any condemnation of hate crimes," she said. (ANI)

Story first published: Thursday, May 13, 2010, 16:25 [IST]
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