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Patrice Motsepe steps in to resolve Banyana Banyana crisis

Confederation of African Football president and Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe is expected to make an announcement at 11am on Wednesday.
Confederation of African Football president and Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe is expected to make an announcement at 11am on Wednesday.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Patrice Motsepe is stepping in to help solve the South African Football Association’s (Safa's) Banyana Banyana crisis.

The 11th hour intervention means Banyana will leave on time for the Fifa Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia in two groups on Wednesday and Thursday.

While TimesLIVE does not have the details on how Confederation of African Football president, Mamelodi Sundowns owner and mining magnate Motsepe will help, his intervention is expected to be financial.

A source with intimate knowledge of the situation said the full details are expected to be announced at a press conference in Sandton on Wednesday at 11am.

Motsepe is believed to have been part of a crisis meeting with Safa and the Banyana players to come to a resolution.

This will bring to an end an impasse between Safa and Banyana over several contractual issues and unhappiness by the team over the quality of their build-up opponents for the World Cup.

The saga blew up when Banyana were unable to play their World Cup send-off game against Botswana at Tsakane Stadium on Ekurhuleni on Sunday. A hastily compiled makeshift team lost 5-0.

Representatives of the South African Football Players Union have alleged publicly that while Banyana threatened to not play the game because they felt their complaints were not being dealt with sufficiently, they were on the team bus and ready to play but were instructed not to by Safa. 

The choice of 150th-ranked Botswana as a preparation game when Banyana will face third-ranked Sweden, 16th-ranked Italy and 28th-ranked Argentina in group G at the World Cup, was among bones of contention for the national team players.

The rustic venue at Tsakane Stadium was another.

Safpu, who have said they are representing Banyana, though Safa have disputed that, have said the players also wanted R565,000 per player in appearance money paid by Fifa for the World Cup group stage to be written into their contracts with the association.