1500m and 800m World champion, Caster Semenya has set her eyes on playing for South African women national team, Banyana Banyana, after she confirmed her switch from athletics to football.
The double Olympic gold medalist has already signed for JVW football club which is based in her homeland Johannesburg, and owned by Banyana Banyana Captain, Janine van Wyk.
Semenya’s new career decision comes amid her on-going legal challenge of IAAF regulations preventing her from defending her 800 meters world title this month without taking hormone blockers.
According to a statement by her representatives, the 28-year-old has always had undying love for football, and that she played abit of football while young before settling for track and field.
“I am grateful for this opportunity and I appreciate the love and support I already get from the team. I am looking forward to this new journey, and hopefully I can contribute as much as I can to the club.” Semenya told Premium times.
Van Wyk also revealed that Semenya first revealed her dream of playing competitive football when the pair were at a hotel during this year’s FIFA Women world cup.
Van Wyk admits that she thought the star was joking and decided to humour her up by offering her a chance to train with JWF club.
Van Wyk add that she was surprised when Semenya called her up and had decided to play football.
The captain says that she has no doubt that Semenya will give it her all for a call up to the Banyana Banyana.
“Caster is a powerful woman. She’s a very strong-minded and very ambitious. After everything she has gone through, I know she would in her mind say that she is able to make the national team” Van Wyk was quoted by www.telegraph.co.uk
Semenya will not be registered for the 2019 SAFA Sasol League, the league in which JVW plays, due to the transfer window being closed for the 2019 season. However, she will continue to train with the team in preparation for a 2020 debut.
JVW FC currently sit second on the Gauteng Sasol Log. They are two points (with three games in hand) behind leaders, Croesus Ladies. They have the ambition to qualify for playoffs and feature in the National League.
If and when she makes her football debut, Semenya will also have to challenge the FIFA gender regulations, which give it the power to subject a player taking part in its competitions to “a physical examination” and to ban anyone refusing to submit to one.