Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
28 Jun 2021
1:31 pm

Banyana cancel Netherlands trip due to Covid-19 cases

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

“’This is a difficult time where we are in the middle of the third wave in our country, and unfortunately Banyana Banyana has not been spared from this pandemic," said the Banyana head coach.

Desiree Ellis has named the Banyana squad for the Cosafa Cup. (Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)

The South African Football Association have confirmed the cancellation of Banyana Banyana trip to Netherlands due to Covid-19 cases in the senior national women team’s camp.

Safa announced on Monday that the squad will no longer be traveling to Europe, where they were due to play a friendly match with the Dutch women’s team in Zwolle on Saturday.

The  coronavirus is in its third wave in South Africa with the number of positive cases increasing every day which, forced the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to take the country to adjusted level-4 lockdown for 14 days during his address on Sunday.

Banyana mentor Desiree Ellis says as things stand at the moment, the important thing is the lives of everyone, including their opponents, hence they had to call-off the trip.

“’This is a difficult time where we are in the middle of the third wave in our country, and unfortunately Banyana Banyana has not been spared from this pandemic. Due to positive cases in our camp, the full delegation has been put into isolation, and we will therefore not be able to honour the friendly fixture against the Netherlands. At this moment, of utmost importance is the health of everyone – both us and our opponents – and football takes second place,” Ellis told Safa.net.

The Netherlands were aiming to use the friendly game against Banyana as part of their preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, which start next month.

The Banyana coach thanked the Dutch association for the invite, which they now cannot honour and went on to wish the team the best of luck at the games.

‘’Let me take this opportunity to thank Netherlands for the invite and also wish them all the best at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games. To my fellow South Africans, please take extra care and caution out there – Covid-19 is real, let’s protect each other by wearing masks in public, keeping a safe distance and sanitising all the time.’’