South Africa failed to pass through the group stages of the African Nations Cup. Bafana Bafana lost 3-1 against Nigeria yesterday at the Cape Town Stadium. Bafana came into this game needing a draw to guarantee themselves a spot in the quarter finals. The loss left them in 3rd position in Group A. Bafana came second best to a more determined, hungry and physically superior Nigerian side.
Credit to the Nigerian coach Steven Keshi the reigning CAF African coach of the year, for getting his game plan right. People are already calling for Bafana coach’s head. That is opting for the easy way out. South African football problems are bigger than Gordon Igesund. Even if we brought the best coach in the world he couldn’t do anything with the current squad.
What our football needs is proper development structures from grass roots level. With the calibre of talent and resources that we have we should be winning any continental tournaments. It goes without saying we should easily be qualifying for the world cup. The junior teams of all powerful African nations are doing well and competing at the highest level.
When last did our under 17’s and 20 qualify for the world cup. Talent alone is not enough it needs to be nurtured and developed for years on end. It’s time for our football bosses to do a reality check and seriously look or rather invest in development.
Former Bafana coach’s Carlos Quiroz, Stuart Baxter and Carlos Alberto Parreira all raised their concerns about our development structures. They drafted plans to take forward and develop young players. Those plans are gathering dust at SAFA House. Parreira suggested that national under 16, 18 and 20 and the reserve league be established. Only the reserve league was established but it didn’t last long.
This was supposed to be the league where the coach would find 18 years olds that people say they must be selected. Yes we fire Gordon because he failed to win the tournament. But if proper development structures are not established we can forget about winning anything or qualifying for the world cup.
Finishing off a disappointing weekend for South African sports Kevin Anderson was eliminated on the 4th round of the Australian open. He lost by 6-2 6-2 6-3 to Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.
Since my beloved Bafana Bafana is out of the tournament I am adopting Uganda. I have been impressed by their young team which is coached by former Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic. Until we meet again next Monday keep well and follow me on twitter for further sports updates @lesibad.
By: DANIEL BOYA
Edited By: M.D.B