The South African Football Association (SAFA) will go out of their way to ensure that the two FIFA World Cup bound teams are ready for their events.
Several high quality matches have already been lined up for both the men’s under-20 national team and Banyana Banyana.
Amajita will be participating in their fourth World Cup, while the senior women’s national team will make its debut at the World Cup this year.
South African teams do not have a good track record at the FIFA World Cup. This time SAFA wants to make sure that South Africa does not just go to an international tournament to make up the numbers.
Banyana Banyana have already qualified for two Olympic Games but will be making their maiden appearance at a World Cup.
On the other hand the men’s under 20’s best ever finish in a World Cup was reaching the round of 16 in 2009 under former coach Serame Letsoaka. They were knocked out in the first round on the other two occasions.
“The World Cup preparations is not something that is happening now we planned for this thing as early as 2015/2016 already in the believe that the team will qualify for the next world cup. We then arranged games in the Netherlands in 2016, we played the USA in July 2016, we played France in reunion in January 2017 and we played Sweden in 2018. We had the Cyprus Cup,” says SAFA Chief Executive, Russell Paul.
The final draw for the under-20 World Cup was conducted in Poland a week ago.
Amajita will start their preparations for the World Cup on April the first.
“The plan is to either camp in Spain or camp in Poland and then get two friendlies and the final preparation camp will start on the 2nd of May which will basically our final preparation camp we will be based in Poland. We will be playing friendlies against countries such as Ukraine,” says the U-20 national coach, Thabo Senong.
SAFA is going ahead with the launch of the national women’s league this year. The league was initially scheduled to be launched in April but the plan had to be shelved due to Banyana Banyana’s preparations for the World Cup. The league will now be launched in August.
We want this women’s league to eventually be the league competition in the country which will continue helping and sustaining Banyana Banyana as you know the gap is quite large from a Sasol women’s league jumping up into this level,” says Russell Paul.
Meanwhile Banyana Banyana will play a farewell match ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup against Jamaica on April the 7th in Durban.
The match will coincide with next month’s FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy tour.