Portia Modise On Being Exploited By SAFA: "I Was Living In A Shack"

She says she was used, suppressed and paid R400 - R3500 while holding the top goal scorer titled in Africa

By  | May 11, 2022, 12:18 PM  | Portia Modise  | Drama

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Retired football player Portia Modise poured out some cries at the Ria Ledwaba Press conference at Nelson Mandela Foundation in Killarney yesterday about the South African Football Association (SAFA) not doing enough about gender equality and equal pay. The former National women’s team player said she was paid R400 and sometimes R3500 while being the top goal scorer during her time as a player and celebrated globally, yet she lived poorly in a shack.

The 39-year-old football player raised many eyebrows yesterday when she spoke so vividly about her ill experiences playing for the South African National Women’s Club, Banyana Banyana a few years back. Even though she was named Player of the Championship at the 2006  Women’s African Football Championship and became the first African player to score 100 international goals, she still had it harder compared to her male counterparts in the sports industry.
“They used me, singing that National anthem and scoring those goals. You know I have 15 years in my career playing football… I listen to Doc [Doctor Khumalo] speak and I also wish I could speak the same about the women [in football] because we do have those women but they were hidden. We didn’t know about them. We still have those players and they have played overseas but no one talks about them, no one talks about our achievements,” 

Portia complained. She added that they made her retire because she was vocal about the gender inequality that took place.

“We need gender equality. We need to be paid the same. I’m getting R400 and at that time I’m playing for iNational team. I’m getting R3500 for my game, I don’t even have a signing on fee coming into the game while other players [male players] would tell you they are getting R50 000. At that time I’m living in a shack being the top goal scorer in Africa and living in a shack but no one cares. At the end of the day they abused me, I didn’t have freedom, I was being suppressed and sometimes I would sacrifice myself because I really wanted to play,” she added.
This is not the first time the player has spoken out about her treatment under SAFA, in fact, she spoke to football commentator and broadcaster 

Robert Marawa a while back on his platform Marawa TV about enduring tough times in her career in football. She mentioned in the interview that she’s had to go back to living in a shack and sold her BMW that she got as a gift from former Minister of Sports Fikile Mbalula because she was not making money although playing international gigs and scoring more goals compared to her peers.

The young Portia Modise grew up in Meadowlands, Soweto, and began playing football with the boys in her neighbourhood. At school, she chose to play football over netball and joined Soweto Rangers' under-10 team. After playing for Rangers and the women's section of Jomo Cosmos, Modise moved to Soweto Ladies in 1996. Finally, she made it to the Under 19 National Women's Club Basetsane Basetsane, where she was then called into the senior team Banyana Banyana.

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