S'Busiso Mseleku

Bafana are a terrible excuse for a national team

2015-05-25 14:34
S’Busiso Mseleku (File)

It has become normal for South African football followers to shrug their shoulders and give the dismissive "what's new" when Bafana Bafana lose.

There has even actually been a bizarre and ridiculous suggestion that the national team must be dismantled and everything just started from scratch.

But no matter how we look at things, losing to Botswana in the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa Cup) - as happened on Sunday - must rank among the lowest moments even for Bafana.

Nothing has been spared in trying to make Bafana achieve the best possible results.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) has bent over backwards in trying to host as many competitions as possible, from the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), CAF African Championships (CHAN) to the current Cosafa Cup tournament.

They have agreed with the players on a payment structure that sometimes seems ridiculous for a team that underperforms as Bafana does, all just to stop the spoilt brats from going on strike (wish their soccer striking rate was as potent), which in turn puts the country in an embarrassing position.

They live in some of the best hotels during camps and have what one can possibly say are the best training facilities on the continent.

But the bunch of players (I won't use the word previously used by our Sports Minister) have the temerity to go and lose to The Zebras, at home nogal.

And what will happen to them? Zilch! Chances are that as we speak, some of them are already at some exotic places enjoying a holiday while the tournament continues here on their home soil with the likes of Namibia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi and guests Ghana still in the competition.

To think that South Africa only joined the tournament at the quarter-final stage, being saved the trouble of going to through the round robin stage!

Is it not about time there were consequences for national teams that under-archived?

I mean, it was just the other day, no, actually early this year that they bombed out of AFCON in the first round, just as they did in 2008, 2006 and 2004.

As if to rub salt into the festering wound, while Bafana's fortunes are on a decline, Banyana Banyana seem to be on the up and up.

Just this weekend, they scored an impressive 3-2 away win over Gabon in their 2016 Rio Olympics first leg qualifier.

I think as a nation, we have run out of suggestions on what needs to be done to get our national team out of the ICU and onto winning ways again.

Is it really not about time that the plug was pulled on Bafana?

What do you think?

I heard coach Shakes Mashaba say something along the lines that it was not a train smash. He even used that tired, feeble excuse that we are still building. I mean, this team has been building since 1992. Even if it was a mammoth of a mansion (that is if there is anything like that) or even a castle that was being built, it should have been a finished product by now.

May be it's time we acceded to those who say Bafana must just be dismantled and we start afresh from the junior teams and build steadily upwards with a proper foundation.

S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  s'busiso mseleku  |  soccer

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