South Africa erupted in joy on Wednesday after the women’s national football team made history by securing a victory at the FIFA Women’s World Cup and advancing to the last 16 of the tournament for the first time.
Banyana Banyana came from a goal down to stun Italy 3-2 and qualify from Group G alongside Sweden.
Politicians, celebrities and the sports fraternity all took to social media to congratulate the team on their achievement.
President Cyril Ramaphosa congratulated the team and urged them to bring back the World Cup trophy.
🇿🇦 Congratulations to @Banyana_Banyana on your victory against Italy and securing our spot in the final 16. You have lifted our spirits and made us immensely proud. Bring the cup home!#BeyondGreatness#FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/1aF0WbgUaN
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) August 2, 2023
South African Football Association (SAFA) President Danny Jordaan praised the team for bringing joy to South Africa and Africa as a whole but also urged the team to prepare for the Round of 16 tie against 2019 runners-up Netherlands.
“Beating Italy, a country ranked several places above us, showed the determination, professionalism and focus of the African champions. While we cherish and celebrate this historic moment, we must maintain our focus as we prepare to meet Netherlands in the second round,” Jordaan said.
“It’s anyone’s game now and this Banyana Banyana side have shown they have what it takes to go places.”
Heavyweights of South African football, including Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, led sporting teams in congratulating Banyana Banyana.
— Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies Team (@SundownsLadies) August 2, 2023
Congratulations @Banyana_Banyana 🇿🇦
— Proteas Women (@ProteasWomenCSA) August 2, 2023
Johannesburg-based global chemicals and energy company Sasol, which sponsors the women’s team, thanked South Africans for giving the team the energy to believe and persevere.
“Congratulations to our heroes from all 30 000 of us at Sasol, proud sponsor of Banyana for the past 14 years! We bring you all the love we can carry.”
South Africa will play Netherlands on August 6 at Allianz Stadium in Australia.