BANYANA BANYANA: Van Wyk leaves national team camp distraught, record appearances on hold

The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana will be without long-serving stalwart Janine van Wyk for their crucial second round second leg clash 2024 Paris Olympic qualifier against the DR Congo on Monday, 30 October 2023 at the Orlando Stadium.

The distraught defender has withdrawn from the fixture due to disappointment after she was an unused substitute in the first leg away in Kinshasa on Wednesday (25 October). The match ended in a 1-all stalemate, with everything to play for in the corresponding game.

Van Wyk was included in the two-legged tie, and she announced her retirement from international football – this would have been after she had played in both matches, thereby breaking a long-standing African national team record appearances – both male and female – of 184 caps, held by Egyptian Ahmed Hassan.

The JVW FC founder and player is currently on 183 games.

But failure to play in the away leg put paid to the achievement, leaving her disappointed. The squad flew back home immediately after the match, with the players given the day off, but she did not return to camp.

“Janine is not here, she is mentally not OK with what happened in DR Congo because we didn’t give the cap. There is still an opportunity for her getting that cap. We have games coming up with the final qualifier for the CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) next month,” Head Coach Desiree Ellis told the media at the Banyana Banyana training ground on Friday (27 October).

In an emotional post on social media, Van Wyk expressed her feelings.

“I can’t describe the pain I’m feeling deep inside of me. One last moment I’m meant to embrace has turned to be a moment of distraught,“ she posted.

Banyana Banyana have two days of training left before taking on DR Congo at 15h00 on Monday.

By Matlhomola Morake

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