Once more, Banyana Banyana - the SA women's senior
soccer team - has made the country proud
by qualifying for next year's Olympic Games to be held in Rio, Brazil.
Much as the girls did it the hard way, after playing
to a goalless draw at home and winning 1-0 in front of a hostile crowd away,
they showed great character.
The win could not have come at a better time for the
suits at the SAFA House.
They had just gone through a horrid week following
the bungling of Bafana Bafana's tour of Central America, where they beat Costa
Rica 1-0 and fashioned a 0-0 draw against Honduras.
So bad were the travel arrangements (if one can use
the word arrangement at all) that first, they had to be altered when the team
was already at the OR Tambo International Airport, as someone had forgotten to
arrange transit visas for the US and the team ended up travelling through
But no one caught a wake-up call even then, and the
players were stranded in Honduras after their match last Thursday.
This caused so much chaos that the Premier Soccer
League (PSL) had to postpone four Absa Premiership matches scheduled for this
Now, that's a disaster of humongous proportions!
The PSL fixtures are drawn way before the season even
starts. A lot of preparation goes into staging a PSL match. That involves
television (live and recorded), radio broadcasts and sponsors also have
programmes around soccer matches.
Not forgetting fans who have to plan their travels and
other arrangements way before the date of
We come from a past where SAFA and the PSL seemed bent
to show each other as bad.
I mean, there was a time when one would have sworn
the two organisations spent their entire time trying
to show which one was the worse between them.
But lately, a cordial spirit has existed and the Joint Liaison Committee seemed to be
doing a sterling job.
I mean, the PSL has even shifted some fixtures later
this year to open a gap that will allow the SA Under-23 the chance to
participate unhindered by the availability of players at the African Olympic
Qualifiers in Senegal.
If this does not prove an existence of a cordial
relationship between the mother body and their special member, nothing will.
So it is incumbent on SAFA that they play their role
in ensuring that this brittle relationship, grows even stronger.
We all know how ugly the club vs country saga has
tended to be in the past.
We don't want
The South African national teams are doing quite well
internationally, qualifying for international events for a change.
The SA Under-17 team is at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile as we speak.
This success of national teams is partly thanks to the
PSL playing their role as well as SAFA getting their ducks properly in a row.
Just for Sunday's Banyana Banyana's Olympic qualifier,
SAFA chartered a flight to make the girls' travel so
easy, comfortable and bearable. And just look at the result!
Why they couldn't be as efficient with Bafana's travel
arrangements, beats logic.
SAFA must just say never again!
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.