SA Women’s Team Escalates Preps Ahead Of This Month’s World Cup

South Africa have seen their preparations for this month’s Women’s World Cup thrown into disarray just 48 hours before departing for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

The squad selected by coach Desiree Ellis did not participate in Sunday’s final warm-up fixture on home soil, meaning a back-up team, which included a 13-year-old girl, was hastily assembled to face Botswana in order to avoid a fine.

Reports have suggested Banyana Banyana’s players refused to take part because of a row over bonuses but Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe, president of the South African Football Players Union (Safpu), has claimed they were actually prevented from taking part by Danny Jordaan, president of the South Africa Football Association (Safa).

According to Gaoshubelwe, the players were ready to board the bus at their hotel to travel to the game.

“Danny cannot have his cake and eat it,” he said.

“(By saying) the women didn’t want to go and play the game because at 12.30 they were ready to go.”

Responding to the BBC Sport Africa, Jordaan described that claim as “rubbish”.

“How is it possible for the coach and manager of the team to have gone to the stadium and for the players to have stayed behind? The players were never going to play the game.”

The players, who did eventually arrive at half-time, were initially refused entry to the Tsakane stadium before negotiations between Safpu and Safa officials smoothed things over.

Ellis, who retained her position in charge on the touchline throughout the game, was noticeably quiet when issuing instructions to the new team comprising players from local leagues. BBC

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