Banyana’s Dutch trip cancelled

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Banyana coach Desiree Ellis.
Banyana coach Desiree Ellis.

South African Football Association (Safa) on Monday cancelled Banyana Banyana’s trip to the Netherlands after cases of Covid-19 were identified in the women’s national team squad.

Safa also suspended all amateur football activities. In a statement, the association said five of the travelling players tested positive for Covid-19 and the entire delegation has been placed in isolation.

Banyana were scheduled to travel to Netherlands on Monday to play Netherlands on Saturday in a friendly match.

“This is a difficult time where we are in the middle of the third wave in our country, and unfortunately Banyana has not been spared from this pandemic.”
Banyana Banyana coach, Desiree Ellis

The South Africans were planning to use the clash as part of their preparations for the Caf Africa Women Cup of Nations (Awcon) qualifiers scheduled for later this year while the hosts prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.

Banyana coach Desiree Ellis said while the cancellation of the trip was with heavy heart, people’s health and lives come first. “This is a difficult time where we are in the middle of the third wave in our country, and unfortunately Banyana has not been spared from this pandemic,” she said.

The suspension of amateur football activities came after the Sunday’s announcement by president Cyril Ramaphosa to put the country on Alert Level 4 and suspend all social gatherings, South African Football Association (Safa) has decided to suspend all amateur football activities. Safa the activities have been suspended until July 11 but the annual ABC Motsepe national play offs will go ahead as planned in bio-bubble environment.

ALSO READ | Banyana coach Ellis praises her young team

“The association will give further guidance in consultation with the national government with regards to non-professional football,” reads the statement.

The association together with Premier Soccer League also paid tribute to one of the brain trusts in the formation of the National Soccer League in 1985, Cyril Kobus who died on Sunday morning.

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