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Banyana qualifies for France World Cup

Banyana Banyana Photo Courtesy: SAFA

Banyana Banyana have made the country proud while also making history, by qualifying for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.

SA Football Association (SAFA) acting Chief Executive Officer Russell Paul congratulated the women’s team who have made it into the final of the 2018 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and have qualified for the FIFA World Cup.

The girls beat Mali 2-0 in a semi-final clash last night. Thembi Kgatlana and defender Lebogang Ramalepe scored the night’s goals sealing South Africa’s spot in the prestigious competition.

“SAFA is indeed proud of the achievement of Banyana Banyana in Ghana with their first time qualification for a World Cup Final tournament. On behalf of the President, SAFA Council and membership at large, we want to congratulate the team!” said Paul.

He added that the team’s hard work, commitment and patience over the past year has finally paid off.

Making the most with minimal resources

Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women, Bathabile Dlamini, also congratulated the team, saying they have achieved great strides with little resources.

“What is most striking is that Banyana Banyana have achieved much with less resources than their male counterparts, and with less exposure. It is totally unacceptable that, despite their achievements and responsibilities, Banyana Banyana are paid less than Bafana Bafana,” said Dlamini.

The Minister said over two years ago Banyana Banyana players were earning between R2 000 to R5 000 per game, while their male counterparts were earning R30 000 for a draw and R60 000 for a win.

The team has previously qualified for the Olympics, the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations and have proudly represented the country in many regional tournaments.

In 2017, the team brought the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Cup home.

The Minister noted that although Bafana Bafana have been struggling to attract supporters to stadiums during local games, they have nonetheless continued to enjoy more media exposure and spectator attention than Banyana Banyana.

“This is a reflection of the patriarchal nature of our society. In all areas of social, political and economic life, women still have to work twice harder, and often longer, than men. Yet men often are rewarded more, even when they do less. We urge broadcasters and media to boost their coverage of Banyana games,” said the Minister.

The Minister applauded Sasol for their continued commitment to women’s football in South Africa through their long-term sponsorship of the Sasol League and Banyana Banyana.

The Minister congratulated Coach Desiree Ellis for her dedication to South African women’s football, and also on her lifetime achievement of being the first South African to win the COSAFA Women’s Championship as both a player and a coach.

Ellis was trending on Wednesday with ordinary South Africans singing her praises and calling for the former player to coach the likes of Kaizer Chiefs who on Saturday lost 2-1 to Orlando Pirates in the derby at the Moses Mabhida stadium on Saturday. ( South African Government News Agency )

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