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Banyana Banyana World Cup Squad Resolves Pay Gap Dispute

banyaya banyaya players pose at training

Motsepe Foundation Steps In to Address Gender Pay Gap Issues

Banyana Banyana, South Africa’s national women’s, World Cup squad is set to depart for New Zealand on Wednesday following the resolution of a pay dispute that shed light on gender pay gaps in the country. The Motsepe Foundation, established by billionaire Patrice Motsepe and his wife Precious Motsepe came forward with funds to address the issue, ensuring the team’s journey to the prestigious tournament.

Pay Gap Issue Resolved with Foundation’s Support

The controversy arose when squad members expressed their dissatisfaction with their contracts, which did not include the promised $30,000 (R560,000) appearance fee from FIFA for each of the 23 players. However, thanks to the intervention of the Motsepe Foundation, the pay gap dispute was effectively settled, allowing the players to receive the stipulated appearance fee.

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Renewed Conversation on Gender Pay Gaps

This pay dispute reignited the conversation surrounding gender pay gaps in sports within South Africa. The incident prompted a closer examination of the disparity between male and female athletes and highlighted the need for equitable treatment and remuneration in the sporting industry.

banyana banyana squad before a match

Motsepe Foundation’s Commitment to Gender Equality

Speaking at a press conference held in Johannesburg, Precious Motsepe emphasized the importance of moving beyond mere rhetoric and taking concrete action to achieve gender equality. She stated, “This moment is about us paying lip service when it comes to gender equality,” adding that it requires a collective effort to turn gender equality into a tangible reality.

Additional Bonuses for the Squad

During the press briefing, the South African Football Players Union announced that each Banyana Banyana player would receive a bonus of R230,000 in addition to the FIFA appearance fee. This move aims to recognize the contributions and achievements of the players and align their compensation with that of their male counterparts, such as the senior men’s national team, Bafana Bafana, and the national rugby team, the Springboks.

Looking Ahead to the Women’s World Cup

With the pay dispute resolved, the South African women’s national team, known as Banyana Banyana, is now able to focus on their participation in the upcoming Women’s World Cup, jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Representing the African continent, South Africa, along with Morocco, Nigeria, and Zambia, will showcase their skills and compete against other top nations from around the globe.

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Encouraging Continued Advocacy

Precious Motsepe encouraged the Banyana Banyana squad to continue raising their voices and speaking out against gender inequalities (including the pay gap) within sports. The resolution of the pay dispute serves as a reminder of the progress that can be achieved through collective action and sustained advocacy for equal treatment and opportunities.

By addressing the gender pay gap issue, the Banyana Banyana World Cup squad sets a precedent for fairness and equality in sports, empowering athletes and promoting a more inclusive and equitable sporting landscape.

precious motsepe speaks at an event hosted by the motsepe foundation

Where The Drama All Started

The Botswana Mares were to play the SA Women’s Football Team, which served as both a send-off match and a preparation for the upcoming World Cup. The match was set to take place on Sunday at the Tsakane Stadium in Brakpan.

It was revealed that the chosen Banyana Banyana group intended to travel to Australia and New Zealand declined to participate in the match due to their concerns regarding the substandard pitch conditions and the perceived low quality of the opposing team.

The football governing body responded to the decision to boycott the fixture with resolute opposition. Instead, they opted to hastily assemble a team of 20 players for the match, to circumvent the predicament of a non-appearance.

The rationales underlying the team’s decision to abstain from participating were enumerated as follows:

  1. The substandard condition of Tsakane Stadium.
  2. The quality of opposition, specifically referring to Botswana, is being assessed.

Additionally, it was determined that a contractual dispute existed between the Banyana Banyana squad and the South African Football Association (SAFA).

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The South African Professional Footballers’ Union (SAPFU), as voiced by its president, Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe, expressed their perspectives on the predicament and pledged to safeguard the Banyana Banyana players’ interests.

The Banyana Banyana squad players were called traitors and mercenaries by a SAFA official but stood their ground.

south african football association technical director walter steenbok speaks at a press conference

The players were believed to have been entangled in a contractual dispute concerning their remuneration with the SAFA, which is headed by President Danny Jordaan. This led to the involvement of the South African Football Players Union (Safpu).

In response to the team’s requests, the football governing body threatened to send the Banyana Banyana squad home while hastily assembling a match-day XI to face Botswana on Sunday. The impasse between the two parties dragged on through the entire morning and part of the afternoon, eventually forcing the association to field a team composed of players from the Gauteng Sasol League.

The Mares of Botswana took advantage of the situation and dominated the ‘fringe’ Banyana Banyana side, netting four goals in the opening 25 minutes on their way to securing a 5-0 victory.

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