National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the National Council of Provinces Chairperson, Amos Masondo, have congratulated the national women’s senior football team, Banyana Banyana, on winning the Women’s African Cup of Nations held in Morocco.
The team triumphed 2-1 over the hosts Morocco in an intense final held at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat in Morocco.
“We salute our senior women's soccer team for lifting the South African flag high, enhancing our nation-building programme, inspiring the nation's hopes and aspirations as well as improving social cohesion. The Banyana Banyana victory, which catapulted the nation into the dizzy heights of continental football and World Cup qualifications, serves as a necessary upliftment amidst the current economic challenges and social hardships.
“Banyana Banyana have made the country enormously proud and their win in this tournament is a significant contribution to the need for women sports to be given equal status, recognition and resources to bridge the inequality gap amongst the males and females taking part in the sport. This was the team’s sixth time at the final hurdle of the WAFCON since the competition’s inception in 1991,” the two presiding officers said in a statement.
The presiding officers called on the South African Football Association (SAFA) to ensure that there is parity in the remuneration of Banyana Banyana and their male counterparts.
“The Presiding Officers have noted with concern that despite consistently qualifying for all major CAF (Confederation of African Football) and FIFA competitions over the last couple of years, Banyana Banyana players were still being paid less than their male counterparts.
“They have called for the South African Football Association (SAFA) and the various sponsors involved in the game to do all necessary to ensure that this gap in the remuneration and recognition of women in soccer is closed,” the statement read.
Furthermore, the presiding officers suggested that a “revenue sharing mechanism to bring the remuneration structures and bonus mechanism for all participants in their competitions, and the sports in general, on par”.
“[The presiding officers] also called on corporates to revisit their funding models and approach by investing in a manner that recognises women's sports and development. They urged patriotic corporates to come on board and assist in breaking the backbone of patriarchy by bridging the yawning gap within the game, both nationally and in domestic leagues,” the statement said.
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