Bafana are just not good enough
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.