CAPE TOWN – Banyana Banyana striker Jermaine Seoposenwe has admitted “there was a large amount of unhappiness” due to the late payment of their Africa Women’s Cup of Nations bonuses, but the players never threatened any form of strike action.
Upon arrival back home from Ghana, where Banyana finished runners-up and qualified for the Fifa World Cup for the first time, the players only received a portion of the R2.4 million bonus they were promised from Safa.
Banyana face The Netherlands in the Winnie Madikazela-Mandela Challenge on Saturday at Cape Town Stadium (3pm kickoff), before another clash against Sweden on Tuesday at the same venue.
“There was a large amount of unhappiness due to the late payment. We felt disrespected as players, as there was no communication‚” said Seoposenwe, who holds a business studies qualification from Samford University in the United States.
“As players, we don’t want to go into games of this magnitude with unhappiness.”
Seoposenwe, though, stressed that at no point were the players not going to take to the field.
“When we came together as a team‚ it (the issue) was vented. But there wasn’t a plan to say we would not do anything,” she said.
“We said‚ let’s go and speak to the team manager as we are professionals‚ let’s treat this in a professional manner. Because she was so swift to get (Safa acting chief executive) Mr Russell (Paul) in‚ we did not get to the point where we felt we needed to take other action.”
Safa acting chief executive Russell Paul admitted that the Awcon bonus payments will be made later than initially promised, but praised the players for the manner in which the issue was resolved.
“There has been some mischievous speculation around Banyana Banyana and their so-called discord in the camp around payments,” Paul said.
“We made a firm commitment to the players prior to them leaving for Ghana with regards to bonuses, and we agreed on numbers. We stuck to that commitment and produced a cheque for them‚ in conjunction with (sponsor) Sasol‚ when they arrived home at the airport.
On behalf of the team I can say that it's true that we have not been paid in full yet, but @SAFA_net have made it clear to us that our outstanding payments will be paid real soon. We appreciate the commitment & promise made to us by our Association. https://t.co/x3o1ZQekbW— Janine Van Wyk (@Janinevanwyk5) January 17, 2019
“They got a part-payment of that‚ then due to our offices being closed over the festive season, there was a delay in the balance of the payment from our side.
“The players showed some displeasure around this‚ we listened, and we made the commitment to pay by February 15.
“The players obviously would have liked it earlier‚ and in fact, I can confirm that the payment will in fact be made today (Friday).
“We are extremely proud of the girls and the way they have conducted themselves. They could have undertaken action that is unbecoming of a national side.
“Our responsibility is to make sure that we provide structure to what people can expect.”@ZaahierAdams