Jonty Mark

By Jonty Mark

Football Editor

Jane sends out Banyana rallying call after Olympic failure

'Tthere is still so much more to achieve,' said the Banyana captain.

Banyana Banyana captain Refiloe Jane has called on the side to dust themselves off and go again after the disappointment of their failure to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

South Africa drew 0-0 with Nigeria on Tuesday evening at Loftus Stadium in the second leg of their final qualifier, which was not enough to make it to Paris after the Super Falcons had won 1-0 in Abuja in the first leg a few days earlier.

After the game, midfielder Jane pointed to how a failure to qualify for Tokyo 2020 had spurred Banyana on. South Africa went on to win the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 2022, and reached the last 16 of the Fifa Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand the following year.

“There are always lessons in disappointments … you always have to come back stronger, you can’t sulk and say because you missed the Oylmpics it is the end of the world.

“We missed the Olympics previously (in 2020) and we came back stronger. It is a chance to rebuild … you don’t know what lies ahead but with the commitment and sacrifices we have already made there is still so much more to achieve.”

‘That is life’

Jane did admit that the side were desperately disappointed, however, when the final whistle blew at Loftus, as despite an improved second half display, they were unable to find a way past the Super Falcons.

“When we heard the final whistle it was a huge disappointment and heartache,” said Jane.

“This group has worked so hard to be where it is today and it has been a long journey … we were so disappointed to fall at the last hurdle. But that is life, we must get our heads up a try again. We just need to be sad today, tomorrow is a new day and we must focus on what lies ahead.”

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banyana banyana Olympic Games Refiloe Jane