Women’s FIFA World Cup Trophy on tour in South Africa

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The Women’s FIFA World Cup Trophy is on a two-day tour to South Africa, ahead of the tournament to be hosted by New Zealand and Australia between July and August this year.

Today, the Trophy is in Pimville at the Shapa Soweto Centre where a SAFA delegation has received it.

Banyana Banyana players and legends, amongst them Banyana Banyana Coach, Desiree Ellis attend the event which will see community members given a chance to take photos with the trophy.

Banyana Banyana will be representing the country at the Women’s FIFA World Cup.

“This is not just one level, this is a couple of levels up from WAFCON and we say to the players, all the time, you select yourselves by performances and it is up to them to raise their hands. Raise their hands they did, team of the year nomination, a couple of you players have individual nominations as well, it has been good 24-months or so for this team and it shows. I think it is well deserved, I think the players really did put in the work, they have really raised their hands and I always say they deserve what they deserve. If the team does well, it is fantastic, it says we are on the right track, we are trusting the process and hopefully come world cup we get the results that we want. You are going to be at the FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, there it is, you can taste it now,” says Desiree Ellis, Banyana Banyana’s coach.

The Women’s World Cup,  founded in 1991, has been won by four countries since its inception, Germany, Japan, Norway and the US.

“Honestly speaking before we even get there. I need to work extremely hard to get there to make that final squad and just seeing this trophy is the motivation. It is a motivation to say, Andile, you need to work hard, Andile you need to wake up and work every morning. Do those extras if you still think you are doing those extras, and then you are not doing enough, do more. There’s no shortage of support, for both Banyana Banyana and other African countries going to the World Cup,” says Andile Dlamini, Banyana Banyana’s goalkeeper.

“Our hope is that African teams in general will perform better, it is Banyana Banyana’s consecutive qualification for the world cup. Then we have Nigeria, who have qualified nine times, and then we have Zambia and Morocco who have qualified for the first time, we need African teams to get to the final stages. The best we have in African football by the ladies is Nigeria getting to the quarterfinals in 1999,” says SAFA president Danny Jordaan.

“It’s inspiring the U20 players, the U17 players that are in the national teams. But most importantly the girl child who does not think that football is for them. You know, it’s inspiring us you know because it doesn’t happen all the time, only every four years do you get to see the world cup trophy. So it is on home soil, and we are going to the world cup for the second time and this one is even more special because we are not coming on as debutants but we got more experience going to a world cup,” says former Banyana Banyana player, Simphiwe Dludlu.

For those who missed their chance at viewing the world cup trophy, it makes its final leg of its tour to South Africa at the Chris Hani Crossing Mall in Vosloorus on the East Rand of Gauteng on Thursday, before continuing its journey until the finals in Australia on the 20th of August.