It is being hailed
grandiosely as the Cosafa Cup Plate final between Bafana Bafana and Namibia in
the tournament being staged with more than a few hiccups at the Moruleng
Stadium in the North West Province.
More aptly and
accurately, however, the low-key
encounter should be termed as the decider as to which of the two teams
finishes fifth in the tournament that is appearing increasingly more like an
Alice in Wonderland saga and that which ends in sixth position.
event has some similar trappings to The Mad Hatter's Tea Party and in many ways
is becoming curiouser and curiouser.
example, received a bye into the quarter-final in which they were beaten 1-0 by
Tanzania and after the delayed entry have only won one game in the competition
thus far - the 2-0 win over minnows
Bafana have fielded a third-string team in the Cosafa Cup in view of the vital commitments of Soccer World Cup and AFCON qualifying games
and curbs placed on the availability of
players by their clubs.
South Africa's point of view, if not for some of the other competing nations,
it has to be questioned whether the Cosafa Cup is more of a hindrance than
beneficial under the trying circumstances.
incentive of free admission, games have been played in front of meagre and at
times virtually non-existent crowds.
poses the question of whether CAF and Cosafa are not over-stretching the
international program on the continent by adding tournaments that are not
recognised by FIFA.
question are the CHAN event limited to players plying their trade in Africa and
the Cosafa Cup among others.
while a continental nations cup tournament in Europe is only staged every four
years because of the congested program, there is one every year on the African
with the maze of qualifiers for these
events, in addition to the pinnacle World Cup and its own involved qualifying
segment,, the international program in Africa is stretched to what often
appears beyond its limit.
wonder South Africa have no alternative but to field a third-string line-up in
the Cosafa Cup and face the consequence of poor results affecting an already
less than satisfactory ranking.