11 June 2019 – Banyana Banyana took time off their busy schedule to visit the iconic Eiffel Tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France.
The South Africans are in the country to take part in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, their maiden tournament.
They face China on Thursday night (13 June) at Parc des Princes in Paris.
Kickoff is at 21h00.
Head coach Desiree Ellis says it was a needed exercise for the team.
“We are in the middle of competition but at times you need to give the players a break so they let their hair down and recharge their batteries, and what better way to do it than to visit this famous place where most of them have only seen it on television. The joy on their faces when we arrived there said a lot, and you could see they were clearly enjoying themselves,” said Ellis.
“But after that it’s back to the grind to prepare for a very crucial game where we need a win at all costs, bearing in mind that we lost our first match at the tournament. I am just hopeful the visit will rejuvenate them and will inspire them to work even harder for the upcoming challenge.”
Banyana Banyana will be without the experienced left back, Nothando Vilakazi, who was red carded against Spain.
“It’s still a toss up as to who will come in in Vivo’s place – but I am confident that whoever takes that position will not disappoint. Having seen videos of China, there may be some changes to the team, which I believe will give us the desired results because we are all aware that a loss against China will mean we are out of the tournament,” added Ellis.
“With two training sessions left we will try out a few combinations and whoever raises their hand will get the nod. But we already have someone in mind that can jump in into the position. This is a must win for us and with a settled back four we are positive that we could compete, but then again it is what it is, we have to do to what we can to win as we this game as a final for us.”
South Africa’s last group stage match will be against Germany in Montpellier on 17 June.
The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is the 18thedition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
It kicked off on 7 June and will run until 7 July.
EIFFEL TOWER FACT FILE:
- Was constructed from 1887 to 1889
- Named after engineer Gustave Eiffel – whose company designed and built the tower
- Has become global cultural icon of France
- One of the most recognizable structures in the world
- Is the most visited paid monument in the world
- Just below seven million people ascended it in 2015
- Is the tallest structure in Paris at 324 meters tall – about the same height as an 81-storey building
- Excluding transmitters, the Eiffel Tower is the second tallest free-standing structure in France after the Millau Viaduct
- The tower has three levels for visitors
- The top level’s upper platform is 276 meters above the ground – the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union
- The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the climb from the first level to the second