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Takuwani Ramagwede
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Bafana Bafana

16 June 2014, 19:30

It is that time of the year , that time that only comes every 4 years , a time where almost everyone has a football fever , a time for hard working men to represent their respective countries, this is definitely the Fifa World Cup 2014. The atmosphere almost similar to what we had 4 years ago, difference is that its in Brazil and there is no Bafana in the tournament.

This is not a feedback for the world cup , this is to identify how Bafana Bafana have continued to disappoint us over and over again. In the early 90's South Africa was allowed back into CAF and FIFA after the two football governing bodies had lifted the ban on us, the early 90's marked the birth of a national team , certainly the start of Bafana Bafana. The team in the beginning was going through some rough times though but as time went on the national team had improved , as it won the AFCON in 1996

it had proven to be a feared opponent to some of the giants of African football and later in 1998 it then qualified for its first world cup. One would think that this was a good corner stone for the foundation of our football but since the golden age of our football in the late 90's and early 21st century, all that we have seen was a real decline in our national team, as we have seen our boys constantly failing in the AFCON, them being the first host nation of a world cup not able to make it out of group stages after a rather mediocre perfomance and them not able to qualify for Brazil World Cup.

We are then always left with questions as to what the problem is ? Will this team of ours ever see better days ? And if there is any hope , what will be a solution?

For many years our coaches have faced a lot of scrutiny and criticism , usually they are the ones blamed for Bafana not producing results . Now we need to ask ourselves if its always the coach's fault (this not denying that we have had some useless coaches) , truth be told that we have had good coaches , coaches that have won titles in their respective clubs and some that have won international competitions in other countries and as they took up the job with Bafana they ended up failing us.

The real problem hasn't been the quality coach that people hoped to come and turn the squad around but simply it has been the constant chop n' change , due to a coach not achieving goals that were just unrealistic for the squad in such a short space of time given to achieve them, internal conflict or just for something unreasonable . Recently following Gordon Igesund's contract not extended, we have to take a closer look at the recent proceedings. Gordon Igesund is a coach that has achieved well in local football,

such as winning 6 trophies, 4 of them being 4 league titles in 4 different teams and coming out as runner up in the 2011/2012 season with a Moroka Swallows ,a team that faced relegation in the previous season, he then took up the job at SAFA, entering the 2013 AFCON hosted in SA, with only 6 months with the squad and he was able to take them to the next round (the first time in 11 years that bafana did it in AFCON ) coming top of the group only to be knocked out in quarter finals on penalty shootouts.

The basis for his non-extension was on the fact that he hadn't qualify for 2014 World Cup, the disaster in CHAN 2014 and the 5-0 loss to Brazil. Analysing these scenarios closely, we see that the real mess up to the WC 2014 were the predecessors who left him with a mess to fix, when it comes to CHAN local teams didn't want to release players to his best plan for the team so his hands were tied, and the loss to Brazil was a friendly, where coaches do try to experiment with different elements, and its as thou they have forgotten that he was able to beat Spain who are 2 time Europe champions and current WC holders.

The man had a plan to build the team and to build a national team especially one that is so broken like Bafana takes a good number of years, Igesund was barely given enough time to do his work, and its not only Igesund who faced the same fate in Bafana.

What about the players? Here in SA we used to have the likes of Radebe , Fish , Bartlett, etc .

The quality of our players has been dropping since then, SA does not produce quality as it used to, and players are becoming less patriotic for their country and less passionate for the beautiful game. The one thing that most people don't notice which is really shocking, is the fact that in today's Bafana squad no one plays as good as Dean Furman . How is this shocking? people may ask.

Dean Furman may have been born in SA but has lived most of his life in England, so he is more of an Englishman then a South African, but out there on the pitch when he plays, he has more pride for SA than most of our local players, it is actually ridiculous when you think about in that way.

If you also look at his development , his football was groomed in the UK. In the world of football England is not known for producing high caliber players, their academies don't produce quality such as Germany , Spain or Brazil, they just produce decent players in football standards, and all that is taught to young players in England academies is just the basics.

When you see that Furman has traits that most of our local players don't have , it indicates that most SA players are lacking basics. In other words the development in our football is fruitless ,it is then clear that our local academies are not even teaching kids how to do simple trap and pass .

The real root problem to the débâcle of our football can all be traced to SAFA. It is the responsibility of SAFA to make sure that the development in our country is up to standard with the rest of the world, maybe even have better development then the top footballing nations and to make sure that soccer players are more passionate for football and the country their own country, and we will then produce some good players, not just development but also our local leagues.

We have competitions here in SA that are better runned and better funded financially then the rest of Africa but our local squads can't compete with other local African teams as they go out on Champions league, we should wonder as to why it took a PSL team to reach a champions league final since the first time it had done it in 18 years. It is SAFA's responsibility to make sure that our local leagues are at a high quality and competitive. It is also SAFA's responsibility to attract more european scouting networks and affiliations here in SA.

SAFA also needs to stop this tendancy of chop n' change of coaches and to star allowing coaches the time to build the national and to continue with their plans for Bafana. Here in SA we need to appoint people who understand football and who do really care for it in SAFA , for example, you look at two big footballing nations Brazil and Spain, in both countries the presidents of both football associations were all former soccer players.

There is still hope for Bafana, we just need to look at the springboks and proteas, if they can do it surely Bafana can to , but a lot needs to change and us as a public need to be more positive for our beloved Bafana, we need to continue to support them cos like it or not they represent us South Africans.

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