The dispute over Baniana's salaries highlights an ongoing problem

The dispute over Baniana’s salaries highlights an ongoing problem

Banyana Banyana’s clash with the South African Football Association (SAFA) deserves more attention and closer inspection than it gets.

I am far from a football fan, but the principle of turning the row intrigued me. The uproar came to a head when Banyana Banyana refused to play Botswana, saying the stadium conditions were not suitable for an international match, and he wanted a stronger team to play against (Botswana ranked 150th in the world and Banyana 48th) in preparation for the World Cup. cup. But more importantly, it was also about a wage dispute.

Women participating in sports, particularly predominantly male sports, have long been a political minefield, with equal and fair pay at the center, be it sponsorship or fee structures. Venus Williams He fought this battle fiercely and made history when Wimbledon finally agreed to award equal prize money to men and women. Williams described the clinching moment as “still the best moment of my career”.

Unfortunately, this has not carried over to other tennis tournaments or the larger sports arena. Indeed, in 2022, the issue of equal pay came to the fore after coach Desiree Ellis led Baniana to victory in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Safa wanted to pay them R120,000 in bonuses less than the men’s national team, which only reached the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019.

Read more at The Daily Maverick: Triumph Banyana Banyana – South Africa’s gender parity test

The incident prompted a statement by CGE spokesperson Javo Baloyi, who said this was a “slap in the face” and that it was “not in the spirit of gender equality and parity… We call on the leadership of the Safa and the [Department of Sport, Arts and Culture] to consider this matter as a matter of urgency. We can’t get Safa’s delegates excited when… Banyana wins Banyana but the payoff is not like the big men’s team.”

Although the women’s national team now earns the same amount as the men’s team, the issue of incentives and bonuses remains controversial. in Business Live In an interview, SAFA Chairman Danny Jordan said: “My experience is that these islands do not give you a better performance, but it is the commitment, the will to win and the determination to fight. [that do]. Carrots come later.”

To me, this indicates an unwillingness to think about what is so common in sports. Why are we now talking about the effectiveness of “hanging carrots” when this used to be standard practice?

This may seem like just a dispute about money, but it is really about standing up for what you believe in and affirming your value to the country, the continent and the world. Women have always been taught to accept less than they are due. Banyana Banyana has earned the right to demand the best for themselves. DM

This story first appeared in Our Weekly 168 newspaper, which is available nationwide for R29.

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