Bafana bowed out with dignity
Johannesburg – Bafana Bafana's performance against France in the World Cup showed the team was "capable" and had potential, the ANCYL said on Wednesday.
"Despite failing to progress to the next round of the tournament, Bafana Bafana bowed out with dignity," the league said in a statement.
Bafana beat 1998 World Cup champions and 2006 runners’ up France 2-1 in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.
It urged South Africans to continue supporting the team with "the necessary passion and unity displayed during the World Cup".
The SA Football Association (SAFA) should ensure the team qualified for the African Cup of Nations and the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, it said.
The Congress of SA Trade Unions said Bafana had improved "tremendously" in the past four months.
"Our pride has been restored, despite missing out qualifying for the next round. Let us not forget that South Africa came to this World Cup ranked 83, pitted against the best in the world, two of which were former world champions.
“In this context we surprised even ourselves by an excellent performance of our boys in the field of play," the union federation's general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said in a statement.
He lauded the country for successfully hosting the tournament and urged SAFA to maintain momentum by hiring coaches with international experience who would "take us to the next level", and invest in developing talent from primary school level to the National First Division.
"We take the opportunity to congratulate Bafana for taking us to a new level which itself is a new record. We congratulate the coach Alberto Carlos Parreira and all technical staff," Vavi said.