Banyana captain hits out at Ledwaba

IN A startling revelation, Banyana Banyana captain Portia "Bashin" Modise said about 60 percent of the country's women soccer players were lesbians.

And she said she saw nothing wrong with that.

Modise's admission comes in the wake of a comment that women players should behave like women and not men.

It was made by Ria Ledwaba, women's committee chairperson of the South African Football Association.
   "We don't want our girls to look, act and dress like men just because they play soccer," Ledwaba was quoted as saying in City Press last week.

But Modise, who this week refused to reveal her sexual preference said: "My private life is my business."

"The majority of women soccer players are lesbians, and that is a fact," said the Banyana striker.

She said there were also "straight" women in the squad.

By proposing how the players should behave in the field of play, Modise said the committee merely wanted to shift the blame for its failure to attract sponsorships for the squad.

"Our sexual preferences have become a scapegoat," she said.
   Modise said the women's committee was aware of the players' behavioural patterns.

She said it was surprising that the authorities were only raising the issue now.

She said the important thing was how the players conducted themselves during training camps.

"Being lesbians doesn't affect our game and the best women players in the world are lesbians.

"Even in the women's committee there are some who are lesbians and there is nothing wrong with it. Everybody should choose how they want to live.
   "I personally do not know what their motive is of proposing to us to behave like women," she said.

Modise said the players knew how to conduct themselves when they were representing their country.

She said what they did outside the camp was their business.

"In fact, if I am in camp, I behave like a woman, the committee must be happy with that.

"It's nobody's business what I do outside the field," she said.

"Nobody will stop me from doing what I love. My private life is my business and no one should tell me how to behave when I am at home. They don't even know where I stay and I don't think they care," Modise said.

She accused the committee of wanting to make the lesbian issue a major obstacle in the team's progress.

However, she said, the committee had failed in their duties.

She said the players preferred not to be involved with fellow players because it might affect their playing.

" We don't encourage it in the team and most girls know that and have adhered to that," she said.

"They want us to behave like women, but they don't give us support. There is nothing wrong in being a lesbian; it is how you project yourself in public places. You are born with it and you won't just change it because somebody says you should do it."

The outspoken captain said the committee should focus on finding a coach and sponsorship for the team.

"It is pointless to be called a captain when there is no team nor coach. I see it as a waste of time to play for Banyana because there is nothing to show for it.

"Women's football is dead and people always come up with excuses. We need sponsors but all the committee does is raise less important issues because they have failed to transform the sport. They are giving the wrong impression to parents out there.

"If they were looking after us properly and paying us enough money we would listen to them, but because they don't care about us, we will live our own lives the way we want."

Another Banyana player, Khabo Zitha, said Ledwaba's proposals would reduce the number of players who wanted to play for the team.

She said it was not possible to change people's behaviour.

"Our families support us in everything we do but the Safa committee want us to change our behaviour. This is not on," said Zitha.

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