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SAFA denies rumours
- Updated: December 22, 2011
SA Football Association (SAFA) officials on Wednesday denied a media report that the South African women’s soccer team, Banyana Banyana, have not received their wages or bonuses.
The team will play Zimbabwe in a Unity Cup Friendly International fixture in Harare on Thursday.
The New Age newspaper reported on Wednesday that South Africa’s most successful national soccer team in 2011 had not been paid bonuses for qualifying for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
But Sapa reports that the head of the team’s delegation in Zimbabwe, Abel Rakoma, said they were not made aware by any of the players of issues regarding outstanding payments.
“As far as we are concerned, and I am in Zimbabwe with the team, there is no matter that is on the table regarding money,” Rakoma said. “The team is preparing for tomorrow’s (Thursday) game and there has never been an issue regarding this and we dismiss that particular report.”
The newspaper also reported that Banyana defender Janine van Wyk had left the team over the matter. Rakoma however said Van Wyk had asked not to accompany the team due to “personal problems”.
He could not confirm or deny whether the team received the reported R500 000 bonus for qualifying for next year’s Olympic Games, as he was merely the head of delegation for this tournament.
SAFA chief executive Robin Petersen told the newspaper there was no money owed to the players.
Banyana have been nominated for the African Women’s National Team of the Year award, while Russia-based midfielder, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, will vie for the African Women’s Footballer of the Year.
The winners will be announced the same day as the Zimbabwe match.