South Africa’s trophy-hugging women’s football team sensed they would arrive back home to a heroes’ welcome, and this was certainly the case yesterday.
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As captured by live television, there was an exhilarating reception from a group of supporters at OR Tambo Airport in Egoli who represented all South Africans in sharing their admiration for a job well done.
That outstanding job not only featured a gutsy 2-1 victory by coach Desiree Ellis’ team over Morocco in the final of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations on their opponents’ turf in Rabat on Saturday, but also ended South Africa’s long trophy drought in continental football competitions.
Following Ellis and her talented, spirited team expressing a need for women players to receive equal treatment and rewards to the men, the team were delighted to hear that government committed yesterday to giving the team a further R5,8 million bonus.
This fits into the concept of equal pay for equal play and is something that few people should have trouble accepting in any industry.
” But at the end of the day, nobody can take away the right of Ellis and company to demand what many South Africans feel is so necessary.”
Each player also receives a R400 000 bonus for winning six football matches — a well-deserved reward.
Sadly, it’s a well-known fact that women’s football does not raise much money here. However, these considerations appear to demand that the administrators go out and do more to grow the sport and increase incomes in it. If there were ever motivation to do exactly this, it is the win of our women football players.
But at the end of the day, nobody can take away the right of Ellis and company to demand what many South Africans feel is so necessary. Moreover, they now have abundant proof of their ability to win big matches — and make the nation smile.