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
They live in some of the best hotels during camps and
have what one can possibly say are the best training facilities on the
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
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
Is it really not about time that the plug was pulled
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
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.
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