Bafana really dropped ball

The Sunday Independent - - LEADER -

WE re­peat that the bur­den of pa­tri­o­tism is a ter­ri­ble thing – it forces cit­i­zens to care even when look­ing away would have been the best op­tion.

This is what the lack­lus­tre per­for­mance of our na­tional soc­cer team Bafana Bafana can do to even the most ar­dent of the game’s fans.

The na­tional side bombed out of the race to Rus­sia 2018 af­ter los­ing 2-0 to Sene­gal at the Peter Mok­aba Sta­dium in Polok­wane on Fri­day.

Just as we were mulling over the loss, coach Stu­art Bax­ter throws a fur­ther span­ner in the works by declar­ing at the post-match in­ter­views that it was never his man­date to qual­ify the team for the World Cup, let alone Af­con. Any­thing more con­fus­ing is yet to be ut­tered. Per­haps the writ­ing has al­ways been on the wall af­ter Bafana’s two losses at the hands of min­nows Cape Verde, whose squad com­prises a bunch of part-time foot­ballers, paid just a frac­tion of the mil­lions wasted on the Bafana lag­gards.

Bax­ter’s re­turn to the squad has now come sharply into fo­cus, mak­ing it clear that Bafana Bafana did not need him.

We keep drop­ping down the Fifa rank­ings and, at this rate, we’d be fool­ing our­selves to be­lieve our na­tional squad is any­thing more than a Sun­day League bunch.

We should have trusted Danny Jor­dan’s hunch and prayed that Bafana Bafana had avoided Sene­gal as we were clearly no match for them on the field.

It is a sad thing to lick one’s wounds in the cor­ner as the likes of Sene­gal edge closer to World Cup glory.

Madiba is gone. Bafana needs a new kind of magic, fail­ing which we’d be re­duced to a spec­ta­tor na­tion in world foot­ball.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.