Bafana really performed like a second hand car at the 2015 Africa Cup of
that is if one can use the word "perform" in the same sentence with Bafana
Bafana and what transpired at the tournament.
national team promised so much and yet delivered very little. They
promised from the way they played in the qualifiers - finishing without a loss
- and continued to show a lot of improvement even in the warm-up matches
leading to the tournament.
But alas! They failed where it mattered the most.
the way they played, two aspects of the game proved to be their downfall:
they failed to retain or build on their lead after scoring first in all
their three games.
they failed to convert the many chances they created.
isn't this the story of South African football?
all seems like déjà vu - something
we have seen before.
question should be: Where to now for Bafana Bafana?
I think the answer to this question must not just be limited to Bafana Bafana,
but South African soccer in its entirety.
must be no more use of tired cliché's such as we are still learning, building
or that we have learned from our mistakes. As somebody put it this week, we
don't need learners but winners.
has been the song since the country was accepted back into international
football way back in 1992.
least, for now, the South African Football Association (SAFA), seem to have
overcome the first hurdle, of our national teams failing to qualify for
Banyana made it to the CAF African Women Championships held in Namibia late
qualified for the AFCON, for the first time since the 2008 version held in
SA Under-17 national team - Amajita - have made it for the 2015 African
Under-17 Championships that starts in Niger on February 15 and finishes on
SA Under-20 are through to the 2015 African Under-20 Championships to be staged
in Senegal from March 8-22.
question is: Will any of these teams cross the threshold between continental
and global events?
the other day, a jubilant Under-20 squad returned from Russia with the
Commonwealth Cup. This was no mean feat, having defeated the hosts 2-0
along the way before dismissing Finland 2-1 in a hard-fought final.
is needed now is an honest debate as well as a proper introspection by those in
charge of our football on how to improve on the current situation.
country needs to build national teams with a mental strength that is strong
enough to carry them through tough international competitions.
early exit from AFCON has created a lot of debate. But unfortunately, except
for people throwing mud at each other and even comparing Bafana to rugby and
cricket national teams, I haven't seen any argument on the way forward.
a nation, we will always have differences and preferences, but it would help if
we came with solutions where there are problems.
take is that as a nation - led by SAFA - we need to come up with a solution
that would help build on the foundation of qualifying that has already been
years, I have argued that with the facilities this country has, qualification
for the AFCON and even the Soccer World Cup, should not be debatable, but a given.
was such an anomaly in the past that South Africa failed to be one of the 16
nations taking part in the AFCON and also failed to become one of the five that
represent the continent at the world showpiece.
that a step has been taken by managing to qualify, it is time we borrow from
American astronaut Neil Armstrong who on landing on the moon said: "That's
one step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
question is: How does South African football take that giant leap?
are your suggestions?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.