South Africa’s women’s national soccer team, Banyana Banyana, has won the 2020 COSAFA title making it their fourth consecutive win. Despite this victory, they remain significantly underpaid compared to the national men’s soccer team, Bafana Bafana.
South Africa’s women’s national team, Banyanya Banyanya, has secured the 2020 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) cup. According to EWN, This is Banyana Banyana’s fourth victory in a row, making it their seventh COSAFA title win overall. The Southern African regional tournament took place over the past few weeks and came to an enthralling end over the recent weekend. The undefeated COSAFA champions won 2-1 against Botswana’s Zebras.
Banyana Banyana scored the first goal from Sibulele Holweni within the first two minutes of the match which took place on Saturday. This admittedly stunned the Zebras who had qualified for the COSAFA finals for the first time ever. South Africa scored again, this time from Gabriela Salgado, in the second half of the game. Botswana tried to redeem themselves with just five minutes left remaining by netting a single goal from Thando Mokgabo in the 85th minute.
The ever spirited Banyana Banyana team has been dominating the 2020 COSAFA league. They beat Malawi 6-2 in the semi-finals and led in goal difference throughout the tournament. Former Banyana Banyana player, Desiree Ellis, serves as head coach and has been commended for leading the 2020 win. Hilda Magaia, who scored a hat-rick against Malawi, was awarded the “Player of the Tournament”.
Despite this win, South Africa’s government still prioritises the men’s national soccer team, Bafana Bafana, which continues to disappoint in both continental and international tournaments. Bafana Bafana last won the COSAFA cup in 2007––exactly 13 years ago. Banyana Banyana’s indomitable victories, however, do not translate to their earnings. According to News24, team members earn despairingly less than Bafana Bafana. South Africa reportedly awards financial incentives per match wins with Banyana Banyana players only earning a mere R5000 while Bafana Bafana players earn R60 000. Matches that end in a draw earn the women’s team R4000 while the men earn tenfold per player.
There has been unending public outcry about gender pay difference across South African sports. The South African Football Association (SAFA), due to mounting pressure, stated that the women’s team would earn an equal pay to the men’s team following their entry into the FIFA World Cup in 2019.
COSAFA has been taking place since 1996. Women’s teams started participating in 2002 with South Africa having won seven out of the eight COSAFA editions and lost out to Zimbabwe in 2011.
Banyana Banyana’s win had South Africans riled up.