The tournament was supposed to be hosted in Congo-Brazzaville but the country pulled out due to a lack of funds. Banyana has not won the AFCON but has been in the final five times. Banyana were knocked out of the Olympic qualifiers by Botswana last week.
South Africa has been gripped by Xenophobia attacks in the last few weeks. Bafana Bafana’s friendly matches against Zambia and Madagascar were cancelled due to the attacks. Ellis is concerned.
The SA U/23 team beat Zimbabwe 5-0 in the Olympic qualifier third round first leg encounter last Friday. They will play in the return leg in Bulawayo on Tuesday. Ellis says she will not feel threatened when they go to play on the continent.
Banyana captain Janine Van Wyk joined Danish side Fortuna Hjorring. Both teams will be campaigning in the European champions league and Ellis says it is good for the national team.
Ellis was attending the South African Football Association’s Women League in Soweto this weekend. A total of 12 teams are part of the recently launched league. Ellis says the league is very competitive.
No team will be relegated at the end of the season and it will be increased from 12 to 14 teams next season. It will be then increased to 16 teams after two seasons. Ellis says there is a room for improvement in the league. – Report by Vincent Sitsula