Paris Olympics: Three Foreign-based Pros Team Up With Banyana Banyana In Abuja

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Banyana Banyana has been boosted with the arrival of three foreign-based players in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria as they build up to crucial Paris Olympics women’s football qualifying matches against Nigeria’s Super Falcons.

The AFCON women’s champions arrived in Nigeria Sunday aboard a Rwanda Airline flight for the 1st leg clash billed for the MKO Abiola Stadium on Friday, 5 April.

Banyana coach Desiree Ellis explained her decision to have the team arrive early in Nigeria to help the team acclimatize to the weather conditions in Abuja as they are different from the conditions at home.

Ellis and her 17 players hit Nigeria safely after a week of preparations in a local-based camp that took place from 25 – 31 March 2024 in Pretoria, South Africa.

Refiloe Jane, Noko Matlou and Jermaine Seoposenwe are the three overseas-based players who have joined the team in Abuja. Hildah Magaia, Thembi Kgatlana, Linda Mothlalo and Sinoxolo Cesane are yet to join up with the Sasol-sponsored team.

Meanwhile, the team was given a warm welcome by the South African Embassy in Abuja and Lindi Mnimela delivered their best wishes on behalf of the South African High Commissioner, Thami Mseleku.

“On behalf of High Commissioner Thami Mseleku, we are here to welcome you. He is the one who sent us here to give you a warm welcome. We have been waiting for the team for hours, patiently so because we were looking forward to having this privilege and honour of seeing every one of you,” said Mnimela.

“I know you are all tired from the trip and we just wanted to wish you the best for the game on Friday. We are looking forward to it with our vuvuzelas ready and we do not doubt that you are going to win this.”