Bafana Bafana

Buckley lifts lid on how SAFA treated Bafana players in the past

2020-04-08 09:49
Delron Buckley
Delron Buckley (Gallo Images)

Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Delron Buckley explains how the South African Football Association (SAFA) treated the players back in the late 1990s and mid-2000s.

Buckley was one of the countries finest exports as he started his professional career abroad in Germany at 17-years-old for VfL Bochum before eventually turning out for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.

Along with star players such as Benni McCarthy, Quinton Fortune, Sibusiso Zuma, Shaun Bartlett and Lucas Radebe many believe South Africa missed out on the opportunity to add more silverware to the cabinet during these golden era times.

Buckley, along with McCarthy and Fortune were the youngest players called-up to the Bafana Bafana squad and have represented the country at the 1998 World Cup and the 2002 World Cup.

The former Dortmund winger reveals that SAFA should take much of the blame as to why Bafana Bafana were not successful during that period.

"Look, I will tell you openly," said Buckley as quoted by KickOff website.

"When I was playing with them, and in my time, it was different you know, here they don't treat you well. For example, for me to get here at one stage they made me pay for my own flight and they never reimbursed me. They promise you the world and they don't give you too much.

"As far as insight, I will give you another example. We had a competition and I'm not going to tell you which one, but we were knocked out because the night before the game we were about to play, SAFA came in that very same night and called a meeting at 12 in the night.

"They said some players would be paid differently according to the level that they play. The European-based players would be paid differently compared to local players, and we thought that was unfair.

"Because you can't do that to the team you know. As far as SAFA is concerned you'll have to take a lot out from the players but also the players at the same time need to understand that this is their country, their home, and they've got to play for their country."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff


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