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OPINION: Banyana players deserve better

Banyana Banyana’s historic feat at the Africa Women’s Africa Cup of Nations has again raised conversations about the money they are getting compared to what Bafana Bafana players are paid.

They’ve qualified for the FIFA World Cup in France and there’s excitement all over the country for their achievement. This is big and all of a sudden the bonuses that they promised to the players before the competition don’t feel like it’s enough for a group of ladies who are basically the pride of the nation.

Forget about how much the Bafana players are getting financially. There actually should not be any comparisons. Banyana players should be getting what they deserve and they should not be worried about having jobs on the side to survive and provide for their families.

If SAFA don’t see it now, then they will never see it. If SAFA don’t make an effort to change the lives of the players who give their all for the nation, then they never will. If sponsors don’t see the value of backing this team that will only grow from strength to strength, then they will never see it.

Imagine some players having to leave work or their studies to join the national team camp where they will get a stipend. Surely this is not right. Surely this has to stop?

I did an interview once with former Banyana player Sanah Mollo while she was working at Telkom in Centurion. While she loved what she was doing, I could see that she would love to get financially rewarded for it. She loves football with all her heart and who wouldn’t want to get paid well for doing what they love? It’s the same with all the players who are playing right now – they would love to get a good salary.

Our women players should not have to go overseas for them to get paid well. It should start here at home, with the senior national women’s team.

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