SA plummets to lowest level
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)
You know that South African soccer has fallen to its lowest level when a bus carrying players from a visiting nation is pelted with stones
Worse still, if the match is the Nelson Mandela Challenge. We all know that Madiba is the world’s peace icon.
This is a sign of an unaccepted level of tolerance. This disease is really eating into our nation and one wonders that what will the next objects be. Bullets?
Not when we had such an ugly incident where Togo players were peppered with gunshots before the beginning of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.
While it is given that Bafana Bafana are not performing at the required level, we cannot allow a situation where the South African public vents its anger on visiting teams.
There are less than 65 days to go before kick-off. Everybody is in panic mode as things don’t seem to be falling into place for the national team. But such abominable behaviour needs to be condemned in the strongest terms.
South Africa has proven itself as one of the best, if not the best, on the continent when it comes to hosting global sporting events. The country’s abilities cannot be doubted.
The stoning incident actually made the pitch condition look like a miniscule mishap.
How does a venue that is scheduled to host the opening match of the AFCON have such a horrible pitch for an important game against the reigning African champions?
Worse still, we are told there will be another concert before the opening match on January 19!
This just boils down to poor planning.
Why was the game not taken to another stadium as the stadium management company as well as our soccer honchos knew that they would be a concert a few days before the match?
Is this a matter of greed?
We are told that the stadiums around the country, more especially those that were built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, are struggling so much to bring in revenue that PSL clubs are paid huge amounts of money to take their games there.
What happened to the business plans we were so proudly told about whenever we pointed out that these stadiums could easily become white elephants post World Cup?
Is it legal to spend taxpayers’ money to fund privately-owned businesses, which PSL clubs are?
The least said about the crowd - if one can call it that - at the FNB Stadium for this match, the better.
There were more Zambian supporters than South Africans at the stadium. Is this a sign of things to come, come January?
It is indeed a scary thought because big tournaments always bank on the home team for their success.
The loss to Zambia could also see Bafana Bafana plummet further down the rankings than the embarrassing 84th position they are already in, come the updated FIFA rankings on December 5.
A loss in the final friendly scheduled for January (against Norway), could mean disaster and that even fewer people than those seen at FNB, would want to go to watch Bafana play.
It’s quite a steep hill for the organisers to market the tournament to spectators.
Add to that the fact that the brand of football being played by the team is not so attractive lately. The organisers, plus coach Gordon Igesund, have their work cut out for them.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.
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.