Bafana miss out on Af­con... again

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

THE AFRICA Cup of Na­tions (Af­con) tour­na­ment, the soc­cer show­piece fea­tur­ing the cream of our con­ti­nent, kicked off amid pomp and fan­fare in Gabon on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

This is where, in foot­ball talk, men are sep­a­rated from the boys.

And for us as soc­cer-mad South Africans, it’s painful to watch from the side­lines. Our na­tional team, Bafana Bafana, have once again failed to qual­ify for this tour­na­ment that draws dozens of top African stars in com­pet­i­tive leagues across Eu­rope. Mil­lions of fans glob­ally watch this show­piece on tele­vi­sion.

It’s a great plat­form to show­case our tal­ent and our coun­try.

But we are miss­ing out on such an op­por­tu­nity yet again. How do our soc­cer bosses sleep at night when one of Africa’s big­gest economies can’t make this tour­na­ment? Noth­ing ex­presses the rot in our foot­ball bet­ter than this.

Bafana Bafana, win­ners in 1996, gave some much prom­ise that af­ter years of ban­ish­ment from in­ter­na­tional sport due to apartheid sanc­tions, this great foot­balling na­tion was back where it be­longs­the top.

Com­ing as it did af­ter we won the Rugby World Cup, a year ear­lier, and fol­low­ing the first demo­cratic elec­tions in 1994, we had rea­son to be­lieve we were the best.

And now this…

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