Bafana are just not good enough

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - OPINION -

The pain keeps pil­ing up for Bafana Bafana. This week’s news that South Africa have dropped to 80th in the Fifa world rank­ings was another blow to the gut, and a re­flec­tion of a World Cup 2018 qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign that is rolling around in the gut­ter, with lit­tle chance of re­demp­tion.

It all started on Septem­ber 1, as Stu­art Bax­ter’s side were beaten 2-1 in the Cape Verde Is­lands, let­ting slip an early lead with some fran­tic, dread­ful de­fend­ing.

It got worse a few days later, as Cape Verde beat Bafana by the same score­line in Dur­ban, with Bax­ter’s side pro­duc­ing another list­less dis­play.

The only good news at that stage was that some­how, Bafana were still only two points off the top of Group D, as Sene­gal and Burk­ina Faso drew games in Dakar and Oua­gadougou.

Then, how­ever, came the news that Fifa had or­dered a re­play of Bafana’s only Group D “win” so far, a 2-1 suc­cess over Sene­gal on Novem­ber 12, 2016.

This was af­ter the ref­eree on that day, Ghana­ian Joseph Lamptey, was found guilty of match ma­nip­u­la­tion and banned for life.

Safa have opted not to ap­peal Fifa’s de­ci­sion, so now Bafana sit five points adrift of the top of Group D. Win their re­main­ing three group games, and Bafana would still have a chance of go­ing to Rus­sia. But let’s be hon­est, that’s un­likely.

Whether you agree with Fifa’s de­ci­sion to re­play the Sene­gal match or not, Bafana were sim­ply not good enough on the field of play against Cape Verde.

That is re­flected in a 14-place drop down the world rank­ings. Cape Verde, by con­trast, have surged 47 places up to 67th. Burk­ina Faso are 49th and Sene­gal 33rd.

It is not just the stand­ings in Group D, but the rank­ings too, that tell you Bafana are the worst team in it.

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