It is there for all South Africans to see that our soccer national team Bafana Bafana has gone from bad to worse and this is not good at all to the sport that is followed by the majority of South Africans. Bafana Bafana is supposed to be number 1 in Africa and at least in the top 15 in the world currently considering the first world infrastructure and the professionalism and competitiveness of the local league, the Premier Soccer League (PSL). The worst part of it all, South Africa has a population of over 50 million people.
Firstly, the development structures that are currently running ae not utilized well, they are not producing disciplined players that are talented. From the under 12 to the under 23 national teams, we are not seeing any continuity. Players who are currently playing for the under 12 national team should go straight to the next level after turning 12 or 13 years old. The same should be applied to the under 23 national team, the players should graduate to the senior team without any hustles. Currently all these teams are changing each and every game, which makes it difficult for our senior National team Bafana Bafana to have fully developed players.
Looking in to the current Bafana Bafana team, there are a lot of players who came from nowhere. They are not good enough to represent the national team. There is not even a single player who came through the under 23 development. All these problems are caused by the distance between the development coaches and the senior team coach. The coaches are supposed to link and discuss players currently playing for all divisions.
An emergency that should be applied while trying to fix the development structures is to use the players who are playing competitive competitions all the time. Currently the Bafana team is made up of players who are not playing regularly for their teams. We have a team who always does well in CAF competitions, yet their players are always excluded in the national team. Orlando Pirates played in 2 CAF finals in 3 years’ time. Their players should be the majority in the Bafana team because they competed with the rest of the African continent’s best players and came second best.
If we may refer to all other national teams in Africa and around the world, they are doing well because of their players’ involvement in different continental competitions. Let us look at Spain, they are doing great in world football because their big teams, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and currently Atletico Madrid are doing great in EUFA continental competition. The majority of the Spain national team players are Real Madrid and Barcelona players. On the other hand, Egypt of one of the powerhouse in African soccer due to the fact that their teams Al Ahly and Zamalek are always doing well in CAF competitions. The majority of the Egyptian national team players are Al Ahly and Zamalek players. But come to South Africa, Orlando Pirates is always doing well in CAF competitions but go to Bafana and check if their players are taking part, the answer will definitely be “no”. The players you will find at Bafana are players from teams that cannot even go through the first round in CAF competitions. Then how do we expect to conquer Africa with players that cannot even beat a team from Madagascar? How can we expect to qualify for AFCON with players that cannot even command a first place in their teams in unknown leagues in Europe? How can we expect miracles from players who are not competitive?
The South African Football Association (SAFA) must learn from the best in order to do best. Our national team is in tatters yet they are not even trying to implement emergency routes that may save our football for the best. The players representing South Africa are not the correct players. Something very special is needed to change our national team for the better. Bafana Bafana is supposed to go back to top CAF and FIFA rankings. We are supposed to win the AFCON competition without any problem, currently we are even failing to qualify to play in the AFCON competition and we are expecting to qualify for the World Cup.