Pitso thrilled as Bafana surge

2011-04-13 14:22

Johannesburg - South African national coach Pitso Mosimane heaped praise on PSL club coaches as well as the South African Football Association (SAFA) hierarchy for their supportive roles that has seen the national team moving to the 39th spot in the world and fifth in Africa.

In the latest rankings released by FIFA on Wednesday morning, Bafana Bafana had moved seven places thanks largely to their historic 1-0 triumph over Egypt during the African Nations qualifier at Ellis Park a couple of weeks ago.

“This is simply amazing,” said Mosimane. “I mean, a few months ago we were ranked 88th in the world. But now to be 39th is something very humbling and it shows that we have a vision and if we keep walking along the same path, we will achieve our objectives.”

Mosimane boldly revealed that the objective was to become the number one ranked team in Africa and to achieve this he intends challenging Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria, some of the teams that are ranked higher than Bafana.

“We have already beaten Ghana, currently ranked number one in Africa. We have also defeated Egypt and I think the logical thing now is to go for Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria, the two other teams that are ranked above us.

“However, we must not get too excited. We must acknowledge this rapid upward movement and appreciate the support that we have received from SAFA, the PSL as well as most of the media houses in the country. A lot of the media practitioners have been very supportive and positive in their write-ups and this has encouraged people to come to our matches.

“And the decision by the PSL to give us additional days in preparing for the match against Egypt has been spot-on and highly appreciated. It shows that if we pull together as various stakeholders in the game there is a lot that we can achieve.”

But while Bafana Bafana are celebrating their upward movement in the FIFA rankings, neighbours Botswana must be wondering what more they need to do in order to improve their position as they remain unbeaten in official and friendly games and in their last fixture defeated Chad 1-0 in Nd’jamena, but dropped two places down to 69.

Mosimane, meanwhile, in explaining the ranking improvement, said he always reminds his players about the importance of wearing that gold and green jersey. And once players accepted the significance of wearing the national jersey, the results would be obvious to everyone like it is the case right now.

He also stressed that he was happy that most of his national team players are now seeing game time. Kagisho Dikgacoi and Bongani Khumalo played the full 90 minutes for their respective teams Crystal Palace and Preston North End in Championship matches on Tuesday evening.

“I sat down with the players and I made it clear to them that it serves no purpose sitting on the bench at Fulham or Tottenham Hotspur while you could be putting enough game time under your belt elsewhere and I am happy that they have moved to clubs where they are playing regularly,” Mosimane said.


  • S.Soga - 2011-04-13 15:25

    Pitso mustn't look to much at the results against Egypt and Ghana.....those game were at home!!! Egypt were unfit cos of the suspended league and Ghana recently drew against England, something i doubt we can do presently. rankings don't tell the whole story. I mean we can play Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia and move 12 places up in the rankings. Doesn't mean we better than the teams below us.

  • - 2011-04-13 15:38

    Shut the fcku up S.Soga, so what r you saying? that we must be sad that we moved up the ranks? Egypt was beaten by Niger before the unrest in their country were they still not fit then? South Africa beat Niger after they beat Egypt. You are the type of a person who will say Bafana Bafana were lucky to meet weaker opponents even if they beat Brazil to win the world cup in 2014.

      S.Soga - 2011-04-13 15:57

      Lol...easy my brother.....honestly, you know, we JUST beat Egypt, even so, we played very conservatively.(You know this) Pitso hasn't got the nation excited as yet(i'm sure he will in future)...don't tell us about rankings, lets see the serero's and jali's dazzle the best away from home.....i want to see bafana get us excited like Ajax Cape town gets everybody excited against big teams...beautiful football. The kind of football where taxis, trains, buses, talking about them. I want to get out the streets and watch cars doing doughnuts after the team in '96. rankings can rank themselves!!

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-04-13 15:56

    Pitso, is the man we needed.... Next step TOP 20. Great News !!!

  • papzo - 2011-04-13 16:05

    I would have liked to hear the coach tanking the all important support from the fans, I was there (at Ellis Park) when we (SA) beat Egypt so he has to acknowledge that wonderful support from all the people of this country as well !

      mpho30 - 2011-04-14 11:00

      He thanked the media for their positive contribution that brought the fans to the stadium. So he is saying that the fan contribution helped. Did you want him to mention your name?

  • Lerato - 2011-04-13 16:20

    I concur with Pitso we must be cautious with those African teams they can be dangerous when you go to them with over confidence..!!

  • Mxolisi - 2011-04-13 17:51

    Gr8! Bafana Bafana now ranked 39th in the world! Is it the same team that was ranked No 88 few months ago? Well, if so, let`s reconsider importing skills that we have in our backyard. PSL teams should learn from this. Jingles is from the country. He coached and played here. I dont want to go on and comment about his pay as compared to other experienced coaches from elsewhere. U go boy! Thanks for acknowldging support by PSL coaches.

  • dominique.khumalo - 2011-04-14 13:02

    Pitso, what a humble man, i don't remember any SA coach acknowledging all stakeholders of sports and not just his team. That positive spirit and manner of approach will take you & our footballing future very far! Well done and we are behind you all the ways Bafana! I wish that the PSL Teams can start to focus on the CAF Cup now, so that we have good representation in Africa, skilled players that can play in those conditions and thus prepared players to play when called up for national duty.

  • African'shtr - 2011-04-19 15:59

    I hate you Pitso you not the coach because of your Merits, you the coach because you are an ANC card holder.

  • Bongani - 2011-04-19 16:44

    I agree S.soga if there is nothing u can say juyst shut up,than being nagetive about a good progress shown by Bafana Bafana.

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