Banyana Banyana failed to progress further in this year’s Women’s World Cup in Sydney early Sunday morning, but they return to South Africa as trailblazers.
The Netherlands, who played in the 2019 final, won 2-0 after goals from Jill Roord and Lineth Beerenstein.
Is Banyana humiliated? Not at all, because all the Dutch players play for expensive clubs in Europe. The Dutch are ninth in Fifa’s world rankings and together the team already has more than 1,500 tests behind them.
Banyana, who were only 54th in the rankings before the tournament, did not get the necessary recognition and support from the football bosses from the start.
You fought bravely throughout the @FIFAWWC and made history, @Banyana_Banyana. You showed that you belong on the world’s top football stage. Well done on representing South Africa so well. May you continue to soar, inspire and break barriers. You have made us all proud #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/vC3diE30Lx
— Minister of Sports, Arts & Culture (@zizikodwa) August 6, 2023
After beating Morocco in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations series to qualify for the WB tournament, they had to fight back to be treated like champions.
The last straw was when they had to play in their last warm-up match against Botswana on a subordinate pitch in Tsakane in Brakpan to say goodbye, which they boycotted.
Against all expectations, they beat Costa Rica in a warm-up game Doer Onder, performed very well in their first game against Sweden and eliminated Italy.
Against the Netherlands, the hump was too steep, but it was by no means a one-way street.
Banyana also played in the 2019 World Cup tournament in France, but could not win a point and progress to the play-off rounds.
If the SA Football Association (Safa) keeps its word and treats women’s football the same as women’s cricket, rugby and netball, Banyana can also talk together.