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Banyana Banyana are in action against the United States TONIGHT – and here is how you can watch the match on TV. Image: @Banyanabanyana

“Safa must listen” says Banyana Banyana star

Banyana Banyana striker Thembi Kgatlana says Safa should start taking women’s football seriously and listen to the players.

Banyana Banyana

Banyana Banyana are in action against the United States TONIGHT – and here is how you can watch the match on TV. Image: @Banyanabanyana

Banyana Banyana striker Thembi Kgatlana had a lot to say about the South African Football Association (Safa) for not taking the team ‘seriously’ before their World Cup journey.

The South African women’s national team made history by reaching the round of 16 in the recently concluded Women’s World Cup. Just two weeks before the World Cup kick-off, Banyana players raised concerns about playing their World Cup send-off match against Botswana at Tsakane Stadium in Ekurhuleni.

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Banyana boycotted their send-off match against Botswana

The players argued that the pitch was not in a perfect condition and put players at risk of getting injured.

Speaking to the media, Kgatlana said the situation could have been handled earlier.

“This situation could have been solved earlier because we told the federation that we don’t want to play in Tsakane,” the Banyana striker was quoted by Sowetan. 

“It was mainly because of the facilities, you look at Tsakane and the stadiums that we played in at the World Cup and it is two different things.

Kgatlana mentioned that the facilities at Tsakane didn’t do women’s football justice hence why the team refused to play Botswana in a friendly match.

“You look at pitches in the [Safa women’s] Hollywoodbets Super League, it is probably the same standard as Tsakane but that is not good enough going to the World Cup. If we agreed to play at Tsakane, someone will want to trap a ball and it would go up or down and people would have criticised us thinking that we could not even trap the ball. 

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“That would not have been a true reflection – it would have been about the facility. In Tsakane the ball bounces four to five times before someone touches it and in the World Cup pitches are watered and the pace of the game and the ball is quick.” 

“We said to the federation that we did not’ want to play at Tsakane because the stadium was not of the same standard the one we. were going to play on a week later at the World Cup,” said the Banyana striker.

Kgatlana blasts Safa

Kgatlana siad there were many stadiums in the country that were available to Safa.

“I don’t want to believe that Tsakane was the only available option for us. It was very sad to see that our demands were not taken seriously, and that’s why we had to do what we did,” said the Banyana star.