A former South African national team star has revealed that hanging up the boots after 15 years of representing the country with pride was not by choice but by coercion.
Banyana Banyana legend Portia Modise claims that the SA Football Association (SAFA) bosses forced her to retire from international football.
When Modise called time on a 15-year career back in 2015, SAFA president Danny Jordaan told the media that "her new role will be to guide other players."
But that was not the case, according to the first African player to break the 100-goal barrier in international football.
“They [SAFA] used me, singing that national anthem, scoring those goals for 15 years,” said Modise during Ria Ledwaba’s presidential manifesto launch earlier this week in Johannesburg.
“I remember when my president Danny gave me the Golden Boot. They made me retire because I am a strong woman and very vocal. I said we need gender equality; we need to be paid the same [as men].
“I was getting R400 [per day for being called up to Banyana camp], and I got R3500 per day, playing for the national team. I was suppressed,” added Modise, who made 124 appearances for Banyana, scoring 101 goals, including a cracker at the 2012 London Olympics.
The Soweto born former attacker also implied that her only crime was being vocal about the issues women in football face with SAFA turning a blind eye.
“We used to cry for help to SAFA, but no one cared, and no one even talked about our story; they would hide our struggles under the table.
“They said I talk too much, but they never experienced what I experienced. I experienced depression.”