Minister of Sport Nathi Mthethwa has called on netball to have a professional league in the near future.

He said this on Tuesday night at the press conference held in Johannesburg to welcome the Spar Proteas team from the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England.

The Proteas did well to reach the semi-finals for the first time in 24 years. They finished fourth after losing to England in a bronze medal match.

Netball South Africa president Cecilia Molokwane also highlighted the importance of a professional league if the country has to compete against the best in the world.

The Proteas are ranked fifth in the world behind Australia, Jamaica, England and reigning world champions New Zealand.

The Proteas were rewarded for their efforts and heroics by the team’s sponsors. Telkom gave the team R 1 million to share.

Molokwane says Telkom also pledged to give each player R200 000 prize money.

– Report by Vincent Sitsula