Banyana Banyana likely to be back hime after the group stages. Image: Banyana Banyana

Why Banyana likely to bow out in the group stages

Banyana are clearly not ready for the tournament after SAFA’s failure to organise friendlies against top Europeans teams.


Banyana Banyana likely to be back hime after the group stages. Image: Banyana Banyana

African women champions Banyana Banyana have made headlines for the wrong reasons this past weekend.

The South African national women’s team boycotted their warm-up against Botswana on Sunday afternoon ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup which kick-off later this month.

One of the reasons why the team did not want to play was venue choice. The players apparently said that Tsakane Stadium was unsuitable for international football and playing at the unmaintained pitch could lead to injuries, and rule them out of the tournament.

Banyana in for a surprise at the World Cup

Another reason for the boycott was the lack of clarity from the South African Football Association(Safa) over contracts and payments.

ALSO READ: BREAKING: Banyana Banyana name World Cup squad

With the World Cup less than 20 days away, why are these issues only being brought now?

Banyana are clearly not ready for the tournament and are yet to play any top team this year compared to their African sisters.

Their opening match is on 23 July against favourites Sweden. The Europeans are ranked third and will surely brash aside the unprepared South Africans unless Desiree Ellis’ troops perform a miracle. 

Teams like Germany, Spain and England are those Banyana shpuld have played last month perhaps, and instead of bringing 150th ranked Botswana, SAFA should have invited a top South American team that failed to qualify for the tournament. 

Ellis will need a miracle to see his side through to the next round given the opponents. After the Sweden game, Banyana face Argentina in a game that can define their tournament. The South Americans are beatable and should the girls play as a team and defend well, they might get a win.

Their final group game is against Italy.

ALSO READ: Banyana to face Costa Rica before their World Cup campaign

Expectations should not be high for Banyana given that they are in a very tough group. Banyana are yet to beat a top European team and now they find themselves facing two very good teams who are well prepared and ready for the showpiece that is held in Australia and New Zealand.

The reality is Banyana will lose two out of their three games, which won’t see progress past the group stages for the second time. Instead of boycotting the match last minute, the girls should have wrote to SAFA the minute the fixture was made and maybe the match would have been moved to Orlando Stadium.