In a recent turn of events, Banyana Banyana’s esteemed players were regrettably denied from entering Tsakane Stadium during their World Cup send-off friendly match against Botswana.
This occurred as a consequence of the players’ collective decision to abstain from participating in the game, due to concerns regarding their payments for the upcoming Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Moreover, problems regarding the condition of the pitch increased their worries about potential injuries prior to the global tournament.
Hoping to utilize the Botswana friendly as a memorable farewell before the World Cup, Banyana coach Desiree Ellis resorted to creating a team comprising of players who are not part of her World Cup plans.
As a result, the team suffered a resounding 5-0 defeat at the hands of Botswana, marking a dark day for South African football.
The South African Football Association (SAFA) President, Danny Jordaan, has faced severe criticism following this unfortunate incident.
Thulaganyo Gaoshobelwe, President of the South African Football Players Association (SAFPU), expressed his discontent, stating, “Danny has assembled an alternate team of his own, leaving the legitimate players here at Sunnyside Park Hotel. This is where the problem lies.”
Gaoshobelwe further explained, “Danny insists that the women have a program, instructing them to depart by bus at half past 12. We were all waiting for it.”
“However, he scheduled a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting for 10:30 to dismiss the team. The reason behind his decision to dismiss them is their demand to include the money provided by FIFA in their contracts, a matter Danny is reluctant to address.” He added.
It is regrettable that such circumstances have unfolded in South African football, tarnishing the reputation of the sport. The focus should ideally be on supporting and nurturing the talented Banyana Banyana players as they prepare to represent the nation on the international stage.
Hopefully, swift and amicable resolutions will be reached to ensure that the team receives the rightful recognition and support they deserve ahead of the upcoming Women’s World cup.