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Banyana players excited over bonus incentive news - Ellis

Safa president Danny Jordaan made the announcement on Thursday, saying they would receive the same bonuses as Bafana Bafana if they reach the knockout stage of the Fifa Women’s World Cup and Afcon.

The Banyana Banyana squad at their send-off for the Women's World Cup on 23 May 2019. Picture: @M_Letsholonyane/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis said players were excited following the news that they would receive the same bonuses as the men’s senior national team, Bafana Bafana, if they reach the knockout stage of the Fifa Women’s World Cup and Afcon.

Safa president Danny Jordaan made the announcement on Thursday.

Players from both sides stand to earn R320‚000 each if their teams are able to reach the last 16 stage of the Women's World Cup and the Afcon finals.

They will earn R520‚000 for reaching the quarterfinals‚ R670‚000 for getting to the semifinals and R920‚000 for winning their respective tournaments.

Banyana Banyana arrived in Paris on Friday for their first game against Spain in two weeks. South Africa are in a tough group that also includes China and Germany.

The coach said the team was upbeat.

“The players are quite excited and we’re glad that’s out of the way. You don’t want that on their minds while they’re playing. They’re happy it’s sorted out.”

Ellis added that the players were also excited at the prospect of playing in a major tournament.

"The first game is the most important because it sets the tone for the rest of the tournament. That opening game against Spain is the big one for us."

Ellis was also full praise for the support that her team has received after the last couple of years.

"The messages on social media and the personal messages that players received during Afcon really kept us going. We know Banyana is much loved and we just want to ask the fans that are with us in France and back home to continue supporting us. We play for them and we will do our best to do the country proud."

Before the tournament proper begins, Banyana will take on Norway in a warm-up game on 2 June.

Additional reporting by Michael Pedro.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)