Banyana Banyana’s purses set to bloat at Fifa World Cup

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has announced her final team that will represent South Africa at the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup next month.

The players will receive a huge financial windfall for taking part. The girls are each guaranteed a sugar-coated R570 000, and more funds will roll in if they progress further into the tournament

Fifa has upped the ante in women’s football prize money, and if Banyana are able to reach the knockout stages, they will come back millionaires with a cool R1,14-million for each player.


On Friday, Ellis named her final 23 players who will be carrying the hopes of South Africa at the tournament taking place in Australia and New Zealand.

After winning the Wafcon in Morocco last year and upon returning to the country, the girls smiled all the way to the bank after they were rewarded handsomely. SAFA, President Cyril Ramaphosa, sponsors Sasol, and other provincial governments put money into the girls’ purses.

The national association has also addressed gender pay parity and the girls are now earning the same as their male counterparts in Bafana Bafana.

Ellis is happy that two important players are back to boost Banyana. Dribbling wizard Thembi “Pikinini” Kgatlana, who limped out in the group stages of Wafcon, is back on form and has even scored for her new club in the US.

Fiery midfielder Gabriela Salgado is also back to add some grit to the team. She missed out on last year’s tournament after she injured her shoulder prior to the start.

South Africa were drawn in Group G, where they will face Sweden, Italy and Argentina.


They start their campaign on July 23 against Sweden, who are among the favourites to win the tournament. They will then face Argentina on July 28, before their last group match against Italy on August 2.

The team will finalise their preparations with a friendly international against Costa Rica on July 15 in New Zealand.

“It has been a tough week. It might have not been easy for you as players but it was also not easy for me as the coach. If I could, I would have taken everyone, but unfortunately I can only take 23 players,” said Ellis.

“Thank you for the hard work that each and every one of you has put in. It still needs to continue and it will get more challenging from here because the World Cup stage is a different ball game.

“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the whole group of 36 players (in the preliminary squad) for their enthusiasm and commitment,” she added.

 

Banyana Banyana Final World Cup squad:

 

Goalkeepers:

Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)

Kaylin Swart (JVW FC)

Kebotseng Moletsane (Royal AM)

Defenders:

Karabo Dhlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)

Fikile Magama (UWC)

Lebohang Ramalepe (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)

Tiisetso Makhubela (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)

Noko Matlou (SD Eibar)

Bambanani Mbane (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)

Bongeka Gamede (UWC)

Midfielders:

Kholosa Biyana (UWC)

Refiloe Jane (Sassoulo FC)

Sibulele Holweni (UWC)

Linda Mothalo (Glasgow City)

Nomvula Kgoale (TS Galaxy)

Robyn Moodaly (JVW FC)

Forwards:

Gabriela Salgado (JVW FC)

Jermaine Seoposenwe (C.F. Monterrey)

Noxolo Cesane (Unattached)

Melinda Kgadiete (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)

Wendy Shongwe (University of Pretoria)

Hildah Magaia (Sejong Sportsoso)

Thembi Kgatlana (Racing Louisville)

Players on standby:

Nthabiseng Majiya (Richmond Ladies)

Amogelang Motau (UWC)

Regirl Ngobeni

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