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Banyana skipper’s delight at team’s highest ranking
- Updated: August 29, 2016
National women’s football captain, Janine van Wyk, is delighted that the hard work they put in has paid off, hence the team’s rise to their highest world ranking to date.
The South Africans have jumped four places on the FIFA rankings to 48 – the highest ever position attained by the team.
They recently returned for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games where they finished in fourth place behind Brazil, China and Sweden in Group E.
Prior to the Games, the South Africans had played high profile matches against The Netherlands, USA and New Zealand and not being disgraced in any of them.
Banyana Banyana were lying at No52 before the latest rankings, and Van Wyk says their hard work has paid off.
‘I’m extremely happy to see that Banyana Banyana has climbed up the rankings. It shows that everything we’ve done in the past few months and the money that was put into this programme for us to prepare has paid off,’ said Van Wyk.
‘We need to give credit where it is due. First of all the players made a lot of sacrifice by being committed to their job over the last few months and making sure we play as a team. Also this achievement would not have been possible without the backing of SAFA, our sponsors Sasol and of course coach Vera Pauw. All the factors put together have seen us rise this high, and we can only get better.’
Under Pauw, the team grew in stature managing to put up brave displays against the likes of the USA in an international friendly, and Sweden, China and Brazil in the Olympics.
Sweden ended as runners-up in Rio, while Brazil finished in fourth place.
Until now Banyana Banyana’s ever-highest ranking was position 50 in 2013, whilst the lowest is the 74th place they held in 2005.