Former South Africa captain Portia Modise has lashed out at the country’s football association for what she sees as a lack of support for the women’s game, saying she used to change “under trees” in her playing days.
Banyana Banyana’s preparations for this month’s Women’s World Cup have been hit by a dispute between the squad and the South African Football Association (Safa), something that disrupted Sunday’s final warm-up game on home soil.
A makeshift team of players from local leagues, including a 13-year-old girl, eventually fulfilled the fixture which Botswana won 5-0.
Modise, who scored 102 goals in 124 appearances for her country, says trouble has been brewing since the start of her own playing days.
“It’s about time the girls stood together to fix whatever is happening right now in terms of their contracts and their payments,” Modise told the BBC World Service.
“We have been experiencing this for so many years. I’m the only one who has been vocal about this issue. We’ve been in this journey – it’s been long now – (including) my playing days I could say it’s been 25 years trying to solve this issue.
“The unfortunate part is, if they wanted to fix this, they knew about these problems a long time ago. We have been venting about gender equality – how women are being treated unfairly.
“They were going to come back and have a better structure, plan and contracts for women’s football but they let it drag because they don’t want to do the right things for women’s football.
“So that is why these girls felt the need to stand up – it’s so embarrassing to play for a national team that can’t even afford to maintain your career.”