Banyana Banyana players will be smiling all the way to the bank if they win the CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), with each player set to pocket almost half a million rand.
Safa has set aside R10 million for Banyana’s contracts and incentives for the tournament, to be hosted by Morocco from July 2 to 23 in Rabat and Casablanca.
At a media briefing in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Tuesday for the team’s send-off, Safa chief financial officer Gronie Hluyo disclosed that R9.2 million had been set aside as part of the team’s incentives, with the other R800 000 covering logistics costs.
“The prize breakdown is as follows. If they (Banyana) come fourth, we will pay them R30 000 (each). If they come third, we pay them R40 000. If they come second, we pay R55 000. If they win the tournament, they get R400 000.”
READ: Watch | What goes on inside Banyana’s camp
South Africa is placed in Group C along with Botswana, Burundi and the highest-ranked team on the continent, Nigeria.
The team leaves for Morocco on Tuesday evening.
Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe said negotiations had not been easy, as the players had not been happy with the prize offered for winning the tournament.
Motlanthe said there were still some outstanding issues with the players, but he was hopeful those would be resolved before the team faced Nigeria in their opening match on July 4.
“In our meetings with the players, they said they were happy with the other figures but they wanted the first prize. They were not happy with the prize money for winning the Afcon and so we settled on R400 000.”
Safa president Danny Jordaan said:
“They must focus on going there to play and have nothing else to distract them from the focus. They want to go there and be the best team in the tournament.
“They’ve been to the 2019 World Cup, and we want them to go to the 2023 edition in Australia and New Zealand.
“We want to wish them the very best as they leave. Before they leave, we sat down and said are there any other issues that need to be addressed. One of the issues raised was about the bonuses. We said we don’t want the team to talk about money or anything else.”
This R10 million is the highest amount ever set aside for any national team, men and women, in the history of South African football, Jordaan said.
Banyana captain Refiloe Jane, who plays for AC Milan Ladies in Italy, said the players were grateful for the incentives, and that bonuses were a major bone of contention between Safa and the Banyana players.
“We would like to say thank you to the leadership, the president and the CEO, for this gesture. You’ve always said that, when we go to tournaments, you [Jordaan] want us to focus mainly on just playing, that we should sort out all the issues before this tournament begins,” Jane said.
READ: Dark horse emerges in vice-presidency race
“Bonuses were one of the issues we had. So, for you to come and honour us in this way is motivation to the team. Besides that motivation of the money, we also want to go out there and represent our country with pride. We know that we’re representing not only ourselves but our families and friends and other ladies who are playing football in the leagues and wish to one day play for Banyana.
“The contract negotiations are going back and forth but I think, by the time the Afcon starts, those issues will be settled.”
The farewell event at the Sunnyside hotel was attended by all the Banyana players, Safa chief operating officer Lydia Monyepao, senior manager for commercial and marketing Amanda Dlamini and Banyana team manager Lauren Duncan.
The team’s head of department, Emma Hendricks, who is also chair of Safa women’s football and an national executive committee member, was also present.