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Players union denies Banyana 'revolt'

We're representing their rights, says Sapfu

Londiwe Dlomo Journalist
President of SAFPU Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe.
President of SAFPU Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe.
Image: Aliaster Russell

“We can’t lie about them. Why do we have to say they refused to play?"

These are the words of South African Football Players Union (Safpu) president Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe speaking at Tsakane Stadium, on the East Rand, where national women's team Banyana Banyana lost 5-0 to Botswana in a friendly on Sunday.

Speculation was rife that Banyana players boycotted the match, forcing the SA Football Association to string a team on the 11th hour to honour the farewell match ahead of departure to the World Cup.

The SA players who played the match against the visitors were not easily recognisable as the known Banyana players did not form part of the team.

The chaos at the stadium was such that  Nhlanhla Shabalala, the general secretary of Safpu, claimed attempts to have him removed from the venue.

“If you remove us you are removing their (Banyana) voice; we are representing their rights. They wanted us to be here, we are leading the way for them…re bua ka ntho tse general (we’re talking about general things)," Shabalala said.

“Equality in payment, conditions of employment, hotel... The flights when they go to games, their comfort. Why [are they not getting those things]... those are African champions,” he said.

dlomol@sowetan.co.za

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