Bafana play crucial for AFCON

2012-03-15 12:33

Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana's performance will be critical to South Africa's hosting of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, local organising committee (LOC) chief executive Mvuso Mbebe said on Thursday.

The former SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) executive made his first address in his new position, where he outlined the committee's plans to host the tournament.

"Our drive is to make sure that the tournament is a success and the stadiums are full. The performance of Bafana is important, knowing what happened in 1996, where they did well."

South Africa were last-minute replacements for initial hosts Kenya in 1996, and ended up winning the trophy in an inaugural appearance since international re-admission to football in 1992.

The country will host next year's event along with the 2014 African Nations Champions (Chan), due to the withdrawal of politically troubled Libya.

The SA Football Association (SAFA) said it was trying to recapture the same excitement experienced 16 years ago.

However, the problem lies with Bafana, who have lingered well below some of their fellow African nations in the FIFA world rankings. If South Africans were to embrace both tournaments in the next two years, coach Pitso Mosimane's side would need to be competitive.

"A challenge is having a team that will compete," said SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani, speaking in his capacity as LOC chairperson.

"If a team plays at home then surely they should be competitive. If we pass the group stages and go to the final of the 2013 AFCON, it gives the chance to restore lost national pride."

Bafana failed to qualify for the 2010 AFCON tournament in Angola, as well as this year's showpiece in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. The team infamously misread the qualifying rules against Sierra Leone in their last qualifier game in October. Zambia went on to win the tournament.

This has now put pressure on South Africa, with its better infrastructure, to avoid an embarrassment next year, bearing in mind that Bafana became the first World Cup hosts to be eliminated in the group stages in 2010.

The 2013 AFCON will take place between January and February next year with venues and dates set to be confirmed in the first week of April.

According to Mbebe, 36 venues had shown interest in hosting the continental showpiece, and the 2014 African Nations Championship tournament.

The interested venues will make presentations to Safa next Friday, with the signing of agreements set to be done on March 31.

The Confederations of African Football (CAF) prefers a minimum of four venues, but the LOC plans on using up to seven next year.

"The criteria of the final host cities is going to be rigorous but fair. We don't have the luxury of time," Mbebe said.

"Some of the issues we will look at are matters of cost, legacy benefits, accessibility and ability to attract spectators to events. But we are conscious of the economy of the country because AFCON is after Christmas, and in a period where most parents are sending children back to school."

The final draw for the AFCON will be held in September or October this year.


  • Bantu - 2012-03-15 13:21

    IF they pass group stages? NO IF's they must pass the group stages...

      Dhirshan - 2012-03-15 14:53

      bafana remind me of that team Powerlines FC . . .

  • Sechaba - 2012-03-15 13:22

    bafunny bafunny

      Dhirshan - 2012-03-15 14:52

      banana banana

  • Lerato - 2012-03-15 13:27

    As much as Pirates played badly last night - Bafana Bafana needs Benni in their squad!!! we need him!!!

      Michael - 2012-03-15 13:31

      ...and you had to drag Pirates into this, Lerato? You are probably one of those "zebra steak & chips" supporters.

  • Se-a Spencer Ikeremm - 2012-03-15 13:34

    If we take the Springboks and teach them the game of football, they'd perform better than Bafana will at next AFCON. S'true!

      Dhirshan - 2012-03-15 15:00

      actually a great idea . . . imagine frans steyn and frans hougaard as strikers! or schalk as a defender

  • Gerhard - 2012-03-15 14:10

    Ah Yes! Hosting it. That is the only way that we will be able to play in it, because there is no way in hell that we will qualify!!!

  • Ian - 2012-03-15 14:15

    Bafana who? Can someone please tell me how many of their last 20 matches they actually won against any team? Perhaps if we arrange for a match against the 'B' team of a blind school will they show some prospects. Then again the team management woudl still bet for bafana to lose.. I know I sound negative but one can only comment from te eframe of reference one has come to be use to, and that is that Bafana Bafana is useless.

  • matvee111 - 2012-03-15 14:25

    We have the world's stupidest coach,& all we do lately is reminisce on the good old 96 Afcon days when we were ranked 16th in the world...

      malose.lekalakala - 2012-03-30 12:42

      I don't agree with you there. Not that I like Pitso. We have to debate based on facts, not emotions. The current crop of our PSL players are all below average. Our top strikers are misfiring @ club level. Our midfilders cannot penetrate any defence or dish a defence spliting pass. I might be wrong, but the last time I checked, you win games by scoring goals not by defending. If we need a winning Bafana team we must start @ club level and dominate CAF club competitions, which we managed to do when we won back in 1996.

  • matvee111 - 2012-03-15 14:26

    We have the world's stupidest coach,& all we do lately is reminisce on the good old 96 Afcon days when we were ranked 16th in the world...

  • VaMbozha - 2012-03-15 15:41

    Its high time the once respected and feared Bafana Bafana bring back their winning ways. The first step is to fire the coach whilst we still have time to prepare the boys for AFCON with a new coach. We dont want to fire him a month before the games so this is the right time. I believe Pitso is a stubborn dude when it comes to team selection. We have the financial resources as well as the talent but our technical team do not have the skills to prepare and assemble a winning side. Benni has been in form and Nomvete is currently a scoring machine, and the guys have extensive experience. Until you show me the so called young and sharp strikers, I will stand by Benni and Nomvete. We have nothing upfront and Mpela is not good enough alone. We keep on playing the same losing team of mediocre players and during WC 2010 we played the majority of local players for what? Do you really think our league is better than the European leagues where some of our sons both black and white are playing but have never been given the chance to represent their country of origin? The Zimbabwean league is even better than ours ( check Champions league info ). Pirates lost dismally at home to an unfancied side from Angola! Look around for better players out there and stop this stupid ideology of thinking that we can make it with these local players, who celebrate for weeks after beating some low level township side 24 to zero. Heads must roll within the technical department.

      malose.lekalakala - 2012-03-30 13:04

      @ VaMbhoza; The first step is to dominate and win CAF Club competitions. How can we have a strong national team without strong local clubs? Give me one player in our current team that can match the likes of Lucas, Tovey,Doctor, Shoes, Fish, Khuse, Bartlet, Masinga, Madida, Williams, Marks, Jerry, Sizwe, Nyathi. Out of the whole team only Steven Pienaar match the required standard. How are we going to compete and win with a team of 90% below average players? SAFA should have invested in developing the players than the coach.

  • Rodney - 2012-03-16 10:49

    bafana is a joke , we need a complete overhaul starting at the top

  • Amos - 2012-03-28 07:36

    good move for mr steve to help our national team i think now is the time he knows the boys more than mr pitso he work with them from the under squad,they will find the wining team no more building ,as usual ,is time for change to our football.

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