Banyana coach given mandate to reach Afcon final

South African Football Association (Safa) Vice President Ria Ledwaba says they have given Banyana Banyana head coach, Desree Ellis, a mandate to reach the final of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament.

However, most importantly, Ledwaba says Ellis needs to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World League, a new edition scheduled to start in 2022. The top three teams in the Afcon will qualify for the 2019 World Cup in France.

Only two African countries will play in the FIFA Women’s World League. Currently, the two leaders are Nigeria, number one in Africa, followed by Cameroon.

It’s a big ask for Banyana, who have never played in the World Cup before, but Ledwaba is adamant.

“They have to be in the final of that tournament, it is a must. She knows it is her mandate there are big opportunities just for us to be in the final of the that tournament.”

Banyana’s best finish at the Women’s Nations Cup is fourth place.  They qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but always get unstuck against quality opposition. However, Ellis says this time round, they have a workable plan.

“After the under 17s qualified we had no choice , we had to make sure that we qualify. It is not negotiable, anybody in the team that is not with us  then we will find who is with us because that is what it is all about I think it is the biggest moment in South African football.”

The Nations Cup tournament in Ghana begins on the 17 November and ends on 1 December.