Desiree Ellis’ ‘future secure’ despite Banyana Banyana Olympics failure

Banyana Banyana Desiree Ellis pictured during the Fifa Women’s World Cup.

Banyana Banyana Desiree Ellis has been slammed by former star player Portia Modise for failing to qualify the team for the Paris Olympic Games. Picture: Jose Breton / NurPhoto via AFP

Published Apr 14, 2024


South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan has come out in support of Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis after the team failed to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Banyana could only managed to a 0-0 draw in the return leg of their Olympic qualifier against Nigeria, following a 1-0 defeat in West Africa in the first match.

It’s the second time under Ellis’ leadership that Banyana have failed to qualify for the Olympics.

Banyana Banyana’s all-time leading goal-scorer Portia Modise called for Ellis’ head last week, saying the Banyana coach must stop picking her favourites.

However, Ellis’ CV speaks for itself, as they guided Banyana to victory in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations and also made history at the Fifa Women’s World Cup when the South Africans progressed to the last 16 of the tournament.

It’s something that Jordaan pointed out in an interview with the SABC, while also mentioning that they can’t just “break down the house” because of one failure.

“Her future is secure, ” Jordaan said of Ellis, whose contract with Safa actually expires after the Olympics.

“South Africans ... If the team win, they are very happy. If they team loses, they want to break down the house and destroy everything, and the wonder why did we break down the house.

“We need to be calm and understand that football is a game of two teams and one will have to lose. There is only a couple of places for the Olympics and we need to understand that.

“As painful as it is, we have move forward and build and it will have to be with coach Desiree. We don’t have another Women’s coach.”

Only teams from Africa may qualify for the Olympics, with Zambia the other team to qualify.

Jordaan says this is something that needs to be looked at as Banyana “deserved” to be part of the global showpiece as one of the top four teams in Africa.

“All four teams were good enough top qualify for the Olympics, and it’s a matter that we will raise with Fifa,” Jordaan said.

“We have to emphasise the point that Africa needs more slots. Europe can’t have the majority of the slots. Africa are always given an unfair allocation.”

IOL Sport