Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis says South Africa needs to invest more in women’s football to ensure that the country continues to be competitive.
She says more sponsors need to come on board and support teams.
Ellis was speaking to SABC News following Banyana Banyana winning the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) on Saturday.
The team beat Morrocco 2-1 in the final.
Video: Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis’ full interview on Morning Live:
“Look, Sasol is the sponsor of Banyana Banyana and the Sasol League but that is not enough, we need more sponsors to come on board to make sure we take it to another level, to make sure that clubs are able to pay their players. Look at Morrocco, they have a two-tier professional league, so they have really invested, which is the result of them being in the final. If you want to move with these teams, these countries that are investing, you have got to invest as well, ” says Ellis.
She says the team has been in high spirits since Saturday.
“This is just amazing you know, I think it was tears all round, it was tears of joy. Each player you ran to was busy having their own emotions, many have been there, many played in 2018, and some played before that in a couple of finals, so this was really tears of joy. Everybody just celebrated off the roof,” says Ellis.
HISTORY as Banyana Banyana clinch their first ever WAFCON trophy!!!
It’s coming home Mzansi!!!!😭😭😭🙏🏾🇿🇦💚💛#TotalEnergiesWAFCON2022 #LiveTheImpossible pic.twitter.com/UV37lUwqMA
— Banyana_Banyana (@Banyana_Banyana) July 23, 2022
CHAMPIONS OF AFRICA 🏆🇿🇦! pic.twitter.com/mO6fHh7uEF
— FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) July 23, 2022
Meanwhile, Sports, Arts, and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, has praised the team for their hard work and consistency.
Mthethwa has thanked South Africans for supporting the soccer team.
“We really boast what happened and it did because Banyana Banyana has been showing over a period of time, that they are maturing. Thanks to South Africans for giving them hope. It is not just about society, but players themselves taking their games seriously to ensure people watch. But Banyana Banyana has been doing this for a very long time,” says Mthethwa.
Today’s a historic day for women’s football in South Africa as @Banyana_Banyana have been crowned the Champions of African football with a 2-1 victory over Morocco in the #Wafcon . We send our felicitations to the new Queens of African football, we are incredibly proud of you! 🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/3Edjv8iYeE
— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) July 23, 2022