Former Banyana Banyana captain Portia Modise has lashed out to criticize the South African Women’s national team coach, Desiree Ellis following the dead-heat between players and SAFA.

The unhappy Banyana World Cup-bound squad had boycotted the international send-off match which they were supposed to play against Botswana on Sunday. This is reportedly due to the poor pitch at Tsakane Stadium and the financial issues.

However, SAFA had quickly assembled a team to face Botswana on the day, and seemingly forced coach Ellis to be on the touchlines to coach the team.
Banyana Banyana eventually lost 5-0 to the Southern Africa team.


Speaking to LimSportsZone, the retired Banyana Banyana player, Modise could not hold back as she expressed her unfavourable opinion on Desiree Ellis.

Modise, once a fan favourite player of the South African women’s team, has denounced Ellis —saying that she has failed her players and South African football lovers by coaching Danny Jordaan’s constructed team.

“Let’s leave the poor girls who we don’t even know what he (Jordaan) promised them and discuss the coach, where was her loyalty? Why did she go to sit on that bench instead of standing firm with her team? An angry Modise asked.

“The girls (World Cup-bound squad) won her trophies, and the country was behind her all along. But she didn’t look at the bigger picture. She only focused on her job because she was scared that Danny Jordaan would let go of her.

“Why are you sitting on the bench, just to be loved by Jordaan who has ruined her team already? She didn’t really look at the bigger picture. She should have not been there to coach that team.

“I know people will think I am against or hate our coach (Desiree) which is not what I am. I know the effort that she puts in, I know the effort that our girls are putting in.

Portia Modise Desiree Ellis was disloyal to Banyana Banyana
Desiree Ellis

“This is not against the coach, but we are trying to fight for our team. They don’t call us or her a “Mbokoto” for nothing. She fought and delivered with the team. The federation should respect us.”

“People don’t listen, when I said this a long time ago, I was told I’m bitter and my time is up. I must keep quiet. Look at the situation now. I knew this was going to happen and now people act as if they care.”


SAFA and Banyana Banyana, together with Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, are expected to host a meeting to resolve the unfortunate situation before players fly to Australia and New Zealand for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
South Africa were drawn in Group G at the World Cup with Argentina, Italy, and Sweden. They will start off the tournament on 23 July against Sweden, before facing Argentina on July 28. The last match of the group stage will see them play Italy on August 2.

By Clifton Mabasa


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