South Africa’s preparations for the Women’s World Cup are at a standstill. The reason?The players are in dispute with the FA. Former Banyana Banyana captain Portia Modise has spoken out against SAFA’s management and the attitude of current women’s coach Desire Ellis.
With the Women’s World Cup just two weeks away, the South African national team is in the midst of a crisis. The players and the South African Football Association (SAFA) are at loggerheads. Several former internationals from the rainbow nation have thrown their support behind the reigning African champions. And former Banyana Banyana captain Portia Modise was not shy.
“It’s high time the girls got together to sort out what’s happening at the moment in terms of contracts and payments. We’ve been going through this for so many years. I’m the only one who has spoken out about this problem. We’ve been trying to solve this problem for 25 years, including when I was playing,” Portia Modise told the BBC World Service.
She continues: “The unfortunate thing is that if they wanted to solve this problem, they had known about it for a long time.We talked about equality between men and women, about how women are treated unfairly.They were supposed to come back and have a better structure, a better plan and better contracts for women’s football, but they’ve let things drag on because they don’t want to do the right thing for women’s football.That’s why these girls felt the need to stand up, it’s so embarrassing to play for a national team that can’t even afford to maintain its career.”
Portia Modise also criticised the attitude of coach Desiree Ellis, who instead of supporting her players, fielded a different team against Botswana. “I felt she had to stand firm as the leader of the team.She’s just selected 32 players for the World Cup and when that selection is disrupted, you’re supposed to show loyalty and say: that wasn’t my team.The coach made the wrong decision to sit on that bench.She had to be loyal to the players who brought the African Cup of Nations home and made the country proud. When you’re entrusted with a team in a short space of time, you don’t accept the job. You stay loyal to your team.