15 January 2019 – The South African Football Assocation (SAFA) has launched a long-term partnership with the Mandela Legacy, which will take the form of the annual Winnie Mandela International Challenge – an event where Banyana Banyana will face top class opposition.
The launch took place in Cape Town on Tuesday, 15 January 2019.
The inaugural match of the Challenge will be against The Netherlands on Saturday, 19 January 2019 at the Cape Town Stadium.
Kickoff is at 15h00.
Also announced at the launch was a clash against Sweden, billed the Albertina Sisulu Centenary Challenge – and this will take place on Tuesday, 22 January, also at the Cape Town Stadium with a 19h00 kickoff.
The aim of the two fixtures is to honour two of the greatest struggle icons to ever live in South Africa – Ms. Winnie Mandela and Ms. Albertina Sisulu.
“We are here to honour outstanding families in the history of South Africa, that is the Mandela and Sisulu familiies – specifically, Winnie Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, these are big giants in the history of our country. They conducted themselves with grace, dignity and integrity and always put the interests of the country first, so we cannot let their memories disappear. As SAFA we have spoken to the families and they have both agreed to ensure that we keep their legacy alive,” said SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan.
“We are glad to be playing these matches at a time when Banyana Banyana is getting ready to play in their first World Cup tournament, when the coach has just been named the Best Woman coach on the continent, and we also have the best Woman Player in the team – so we believe this is the right time to face the likes of Sweden and Netherlands, to test them. And we all look forward to a great football extravaganza.”
“The matches are also part of South Africa’s preparations for the the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup which kicks off in June in France.
Also present at the launch were the Honourable Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of International Relations (and representing the Sisulu family) ; Zondwa Mandela from the Mandela Legacy; Dan Plato – Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town; Beauty Dlulane – Member of Parliament and Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Sports; Head Coaches of Banyana Banyana and Sweden – Desiree Ellis and Peter Gerhardsson respectively; Nozipho Mbatha from Sasol; Bennett Bailey – President SAFA Cape Town as well as SAFA NEC members.
We decided when we had the BRICS meeting in Johannesburg that we will promote cultural diplomacy, which included sports diplomacy- and therefore this would be a good start for us to prepare ourselve for a tournament like this,” said Minister Sisulu.
“I would like to thank you for giving my family this honour – my mother was a sport-orientated person but age caught up with her, she would have been proud and honoured. Both Netherlands and Sweden were very instrumental in supporting us in the struggle so both Mama Winnie and Mama Albertina would have been proud to see these countries take part in these celebrations. On behalf of the family thank you the honour.”
Her words were echoed by Zondwa Mandela.
“We have been in extensive talks to see how our grandmother wanted to see this project reach people. As much as it was about creating a Winnie Mandela Challenge, it was also important that it reaches grassroot level. We live in a society that consistently needs to question its moral compass, so ensuring that women are included in various spaces is a big priority of ours and was quite important to uMama,” said Zondwa Mandela.
“Our agenda is quite specific – we do believe that this Cup will get the opportunity to culminate into a very fantastic game, but the primary objective is to have many initiatives throughout the year, which will ensure that we have women in different leadership roles. It will be an honour to uphold the necessary values of our familes because one understands that these two mothers contributed to the society.”
Entry to the matches are free but fans need tickets to gain access into the stadium, and these can be collected at Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers.
Both Sweden and the Netherlands have already arrived in the Mother City.
Banyana Banyana Fixtures:
Saturday, 19 January 2019
SOUTH AFRICA vs NETHERLANDS
ANNUAL WINNIE MANDELA INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE
Cape Town Stadium
Tuesday, 22 January 2019
SOUTH AFRICA vs SWEDEN
ALBERTINA SISULU CENTENARY CHALLENGE
Cape Town Stadium