Home Opinion and Features Banyana – showing the boys how it’s supposed to be done

Banyana – showing the boys how it’s supposed to be done

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Not only did Banayana qualify for this years’ CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations final (Awcon) but they also hit the double by qualifying for their first ever Fifa World Cup knockout jamboree.

Banyana showed Bafana how it was supposed to have been done. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

The national women’s soccer side Banyana Banyana got close to winning their first ever major title against an equally deserving and wily opponent in Nigeria’s Super Falcons, who beat them to the title in last weekend’s CAF Women’s Cup final in Ghana.

The returning national team was deservedly given a hero’s welcome at OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday. The Safa head honchos had, after a very long while, also seen the light and were rightly at hand to welcome back the “winners”.

Not only did Banayana qualify for this years’ CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations final (Awcon) but they also hit the double by qualifying for their first ever Fifa World Cup knockout jamboree.

That is indeed an achievement worth celebrating all year round. There are, in any event, a mere 28 calendar days left of the year, starting today.

It has to be said about Banyana’s feat against Nigeria’s Super Falcons: they have just bought themselves a lifetime’s ticket to an everlasting duel with the Naija side that we are certain is going to deliver many more sparks in the years ahead.

You can take a bet it is the sort of challenge that many of us will relish; and Banyana are going to treasure the few close encounters and wins they are going to register against this never-say-die opponent.

You shall recall that it was not so long ago that Banyana recorded their first win over the Falcons, about a month before they met in Ghana. That win dispelled a lot of myths about the relative strengths of the SA team vis-à-vis that of their Nigerian sisters.

Just to cap it all, the SA side also had the singular honour of capturing the “Player of the Tournament” award via 22 year-old striker Thembi Kgatlane.

How about that pay parity with the boys now Mr Danny Jordaan? Surely on this issue there can be no debate that not affording national team players equal pay for equal work is down right old fashioned, outdated and undemocratic!

Turning to local matters now. Premier League sides too had international assignments just a week before and all of them did rather admirably against their continental opponents in the first leg appointments of the Caf Confederations Cup and the Champions League.

In the Confed Cup Kaizer Chief slaughtered their visitors Tanzania’s Zimamoto 4-0 while in the Champs League Orlando Pirates went for a more subtle 5-1 touch against Light Stars of the Seychelles in what marks a return to the continental league that one of the Soweto clubs had no hesitation in sidestepping in the past.

In their favour was the then alleged rampant, but little covered, unethical conduct by both clubs and continental association in conducting the business of this conference.

But a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then.

Both clubs are aiming to do well in the home and away phase of the CAF competitions and to ultimately end in the group stages where they will become eligible for slightly better rewards including continent-wide fame.

On the home front proper the league delivered some explosive action as well in the Tshwane derby where Sundowns made short work of neighbours SuperSport United.

As for Kaizer Chiefs it looks as though the social media meme of former coach Steve Komphela complaining that he is still being blamed for the team’s poor league performances even though he is no more in their camp, is causing lots of laughter in social circles, by which in all earnestness may have a ring of truth to it.