Ellis names preliminary squad for 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
National women’s football team coach, Desiree Ellis, has announced a preliminary squad for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
About 36 Banyana Banyana players are expected in for camp soon and all have an equal chance to impress the coach before the final list for the global tournament is announced.
Ellis told stated that selecting the preliminary squad was one of the most difficult tasks she has ever had to do as South African senior women’s national team coach.
“It’s most probably one of the most difficult selections I’ve ever had to make,” said Banyana Banyana coach.
“As a coach you always say players must raise their hand and make it difficult. And it has been very difficult (selecting the preliminary squad). Congratulations to the players that have made the preliminary squad. We are always saying players must raise their hands, and many of them have raised the hands. But this is the group of players that we think we can select from, and they have raised their hands. We are going to do a final selection as well as announce the final 23 plus three. That is even going to be more difficult, but this is the group of players that we think will do the job for us,” Ellis explains.
Banyana Banyana’s highest capped player, Janine van Wyk, was part of Ellis’ plans for the preliminary squad but was eventually withdrawn from the list due to injury.
The Ekurhuleni-born defender, who has over 180 appearances, thanked the Ellis for the consideration.
“I have sustained an injury that I personally feel would impact my chances of performing at the highest level that is required to make the World Cup squad. I have to turn down the call-up with a heavy heart, but also knowing that I am doing what is best for the team,” she said.
“Congratulations to the preliminary squad selected to represent South Africa at the upcoming World Cup. The ball is now in the courts of these talented players to put their best foot forward to be selected to the final squad,” said Nozipho Mbatha, Sasol Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorship, on the preliminary squad announcement.
“We have seen how hard they have fought to remain at the top of their game in the local league matches. Our overseas-based players also continued to work hard to profile themselves and ensure they remained within the radar of Coach Desiree and her technical team. We wish all these players the best of luck with the final preparations knowing that they all have an equal chance to be a part of the final 23 strong women,” she explained.
A global showcase not to be missed
FIFA has recently announced that close to 250,000 additional tickets for the FIFA Women’s will go on sale from June 6, with all 64 matches at the biggest women’s football tournament in history to have seats available for supporters.
FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer, Sarai Bareman, is thrilled that more tickets across all matches will be available for excited fans.
“We are delighted that supporters in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, and across the globe will have more opportunities to purchase tickets for all 64 matches at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is now just 48 days from kick-off,” Bareman said.
The latest release of tickets for the tournament will include some Obstructed View Seats, offered at a 50% discount.
According to FIFA, these seats are located where the spectators’ view may be blocked due to necessary broadcast, media, and general stadium infrastructure.