Banyana set for smooth Olympic journey
14 December 2011
South Africa's national women's football team, Banyana Banyana, will have a smooth and trouble-free arrival in the United Kingdom ahead of the London Olympic Games next year.
The UK Border Agency has visited the team's headquarters to capture all the required information which will ensure that they enter the UK without any hassles.
Head of communications at the British High Commission, Gary Benham, said their office in Pretoria had been working with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) to ensure that South Africa's Olympic athletes and officials avoided long queues when they arrived in the UK.
Exempt from visa requirements
Benham said that, while all members of the Olympic family were exempt from visa requirements for the Games, everyone entering the UK needed to provide biometric information in the form of digital photographs and fingerprints to immigration officials.
"Our visit to the Banyana Banyana team has helped us to capture all of the required information, which should mean the team will have a smooth and trouble-free arrival in London," Benham said in a statement this week.
"We hope to call on other sports federations, as and when qualification becomes confirmed, so that every member of Team South Africa can concentrate on the important business of winning medals during the greatest show on earth."
Banyana Banyana and Cameroon will be the two African representatives in the elite 12-team women's football competition.
South Africa qualified for the Games by defeating Zambia, Tunisia, and Ethiopia over two legs.
Banyana, along with Cameroon and Nigeria, are up for the African Women's Team of the Year at the annual Confederation of African Football Awards, which take place later this month.
South African striker Nompumelelo Nyandeni has been nominated in the category Women's Player of the Year.
The 2012 Olympic Games kick off on 27 July.