South Africa vice-captain Refiloe Jane admits that leaving the team’s camp ahead of the CAF African Women’s Championship final has left her with a heavy heart.
The star midfielder will miss the tournament showpiece against Nigeria in Ghana on Saturday at the Accra Sports Stadium
Her Australian club, Canberra United have exercised their right to recall her from the tournament.
“It is sad that I won’t be playing in the final against Nigeria at the weekend.
“A piece of me wants to play but the other part of me wants me to go and chase my dream of playing pro football overseas‚” she said before leaving camp.
“It is not a good situation to be in but it comes with the territory of being a professional athlete.
“Sometimes God puts you in situations knowing what is best for you.”
“I met with the rest of the team and said my goodbyes and I believe that we have a good team and quality players to do well in the final.”
Safa acting CEO Russell Paul said there was an agreement with Canberra United that Jane would only be available for a certain number of games in Ghana.
“There was an agreement between the player and club that she would leave after qualification [for the World Cup]‚” he said.
“Initially the club wanted to have her back after the group stages but we negotiated.
“This is part of relation-shipbuilding and there is nothing malicious in this arrangement.
“We must celebrate the fact that she put her country first and helped us qualify for the Cup of Nations final and the World Cup.
“We must support her because she is embarking on a new and exciting journey with a new club overseas.”
Jane was one of the key figures in Banyana’s march to the final and the Fifa World Cup in France 2019.
She thanked the coaches and teammates for understanding her situation.
“I want to thank the Banyana Banyana technical team for allowing me to leave the camp at this crucial stage of the tournament‚” she said.