Bafana Bafana

SAFA take stock of failures

2011-12-09 18:50
Kirsten Nematandani (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The SA Football Association (Safa) said on Friday it was engaged in some thorough introspection after the failure of national teams in competitions this year.

Only the national senior women's team -- Banyana Banyana -- performed well, qualifying for next year's Olympic Games in London.

"After the very disappointing series of events involving some of our national teams in the recent past, we have decided to look deep into the reasons for this malaise in which we find ourselves by posing some tough questions and resolving to do things much differently from the manner in which we have conducted ourselves," Safa said in a statement.

"We agree with our disappointed nation that it is no longer good enough to just qualify for major tournaments as we have done with the All-Africa Games and the African Under-23 Championship in Morocco.

"It is imperative for us to progress to the later rounds of these important competitions. The failure by our national teams to progress in major tournaments has left the nation disappointed and disillusioned."

Bafana failed to qualify for next year's Africa Cup of Nations, despite topping the group for much of the campaign, when it misread a qualifying rule in their final match against Sierra Leone in Nelspruit in October.

Baby Bafana, travelling with a depleted squad, exited the final Olympic qualifier competition in Morocco on Saturday, and Amajita were knocked out in the first round of the Cosafa Under-20 Championships in Botswana on Tuesday.

"We fully understand the disillusionment of soccer lovers. That is why we are re-evaluating the way we perform our functions in order to find a way forward," said Safa president Kirsten Nematandani.

"We have identified various practical interventions which we must intensify and accelerate through our various local football associations and at regional level.

"Part of these interventions include a high-level technical symposium which will bring together all football stakeholders.

"The intention of this symposium is to find solutions to some of our technical problems, looking into players' long-term injuries and getting an update on modern trends in football development," he said in the statement.

Safa has asked the public to send it their written suggestions.

Bafana are set to play four international matches in January with the domestic Premier Soccer League taking a recess for the Afcon in January and early February.

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