Soccer

SAFA congratulates Banyana

2011-09-12 13:33

Johannesburg - The country's leading football officials applauded the SA women's soccer team on Monday after they qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time.

Banyana Banyana drew 1-1 against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on Sunday for a 4-1 aggregate victory to clinch one of two African places for next year's London Games.

Kirsten Nematandani, the president of the SA Football Association (SAFA), said the majority of the national squads, in various age groups and divisions, had raised their performances in the wake of the 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa.

"Most of our national teams are really coming to the party and taking the 2010 legacy to the next level," Nematandani said.

"This achievement by Banyana Banyana should propel other national teams to greater heights and believe nothing is impossible if you prepare well and have the will to succeed."

SAFA chief executive Robin Petersen said Banyana would need to build on their good form in order to put up a solid showing in London.

"The first hurdle of qualifying is behind us," Petersen said.

"Now we need to sit down with the technical team and plan the way to London.

"We cannot afford to rest but have to begin almost immediately with preparations to ensure we are ready when the time comes."

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