7 April 2019 – Pomp and ceremony marked the FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy tour in Durban on Sunday, 7 April 2019.
The event was headlined by SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan, Sarai Bareman, Chief Women’s Football for FIFA, COSAFA President, Phillip Chiyangwa, Portia Modise and Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis.
There were also several dignitaries including SAFA NEC members and provincial leaders to witness this rare occasion.
Dr Jordaan said it was prestigious that the country was the first port of call on the continent and hoped this will galvanise the sport in general among women aspiring footballers.
He applauded Banyana Banyana coach and former Banyana Banyana star striker Portia Modise who is also a FIFA Women’s World Cup ambassador as true legends of the game and pathfinders.
He also took the opportunity to thank fans led by the amicable Saddam Maake for always rallying behind the girls and the sport in general and asked them to compose a song to celebrate the Banyana Banyana’s achievements.
COSAFA President, Chiyangwa said he was proud that the Region would have a powerful representative in South Africa adding that what Banyana had achieved would propel the game to the next level within the Region.
Bareman said of the three stops in Africa – the next would be Yaounde, Cameroon on 9 April, before rounding off the African journey with a stop-over in Abuja, Nigeria on 11 April – South Africa was proudly the first.
The former Samoa and New Zealand star player said regardless of happens at the World Cup in France, Banyana Banyana’s exploits had inspired the next generation. She said seeing the original trophy was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most aspiring footballers adding she hoped this would increase women participation in the sport.
“Seeing the trophy physically will change a lot of things and qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup is a massive achievement for South Africa. Relish this and exploit the spin offs which comes with such achievements,” she said.
Portia Modise said she was impressed by the type of resolve Banyana Banyana was showing of late adding this team was always known for its dedication. She said she hoped FIFA World Cup qualification would see corporate come on board and sponsor women’s football.
Coach Ellis gave a short chronology of how the team qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Ghana saying while she tried to cover her excitement on the day, the emotions were just too much to conceal.
“These girls have opened the doors for upcoming generations and the fact that they are only one of the 24 nations to reach the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France, shows this group is special.
“What we need to do now is to go and show guts, will and fight for each other. Let’s go and show the world what we are made of and raise South Africa’s flag sky high,” she said.