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SOWETAN | Shame on Jordaan and Safa

Danny Jordaan (President) of SAFA with his deputy during the South Africa men's national soccer team announcement at SAFA House on July 03, 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Danny Jordaan (President) of SAFA with his deputy during the South Africa men's national soccer team announcement at SAFA House on July 03, 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi

In a week when they should be receiving love from South Africans and looking forward to the Fifa Women’s World Cup, Banyana Banyana found themselves at the centre of a nasty storm at the weekend.

We cautioned last week that the SA Football Association was not being genuine in its promise of equal pay for the national teams, and the farce that saw a B-grade Banyana team face Botswana – following a bonus row – confirmed our assertion.

Safa president Danny Jordaan thought he was being astute when he threw the line about Bafana and Banyana earning the same, but that he couldn’t even put that in writing for our women to attend the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand with confirmed contracts, says a lot about the association’s lack of commitment to the equal pay cause.

Jordaan had been so vocal and confident but has thus far said nothing over the embarrassment from the weekend, which saw Botswana recording a 5-0 win over the hastily-assembled team of no more than 15 fringe players who took to the field to save face.

But this is not the time to cower into silence. Jordaan should be providing leadership and not ceding his mandate to politicians like Panyaza Lesufi, the Gauteng premier who quickly diffused a tense situation as some of Jordaan’s shameless lackeys attempted to block Banyana from entering Tsakane Stadium on Sunday.

We are not saying Banyana did everything correctly, and obviously the SA Football Players’ Union – which came to the fore to make the right noise on the issue – has also opportunistically seized the moment for publicity’s sake.

But we understand Sunday’s dramatic scene was the best way to bring to the fore the financial plight of Banyana. Probably, they have been fighting silently behind closed doors, only for Safa to tell the public – as Jordaan did more than a week – something which is completely against reality.

If Safa is so committed to pay Banyana the same as Bafana, why don’t they get the same contract Bafana got for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations?

All Banyana are asking for is a written commitment of the figures they would earn from the three matches against Sweden, Argentina and Italy, and how much they would get should they get into the knockout phase. This is not unreasonable given that Fifa has already pledged R570,000 for each player who will be at the tournament.

Safa should be taking the nation into its confidence and publicly telling us what they will pay our heroic women who, for the last four years, have qualified for two World Cups and historically won the Nations Cup. Surely that’s cause for them to be rewarded accordingly?

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