The country’s Under-17 and Under-20 women’s soccer coach, Sheryl Botes, says she should not be blamed for the failure of the two teams to qualify for their respective World Cups. The Under-20 team, known as Basetsana, is on the verge of being knocked out of qualification after a 0-6 annihilation by Nigeria last week, whom they play in the return leg on Saturday. Bantwana, the Under-17s, were recently knocked out by Zambia, losing 1-3 here after a 3-3 draw away. Botes, who is currently caretaker coach of both teams, says this will not affect her application for employment on a permanent basis for both jobs. She said the SA Football Association (Safa) needed to tackle the challenges facing women’s football in the country if any coach was to lead national teams to success. “A coach cannot be blamed when we in South Africa do not have a women’s professional league like men,” she said. “Our leagues are weak and these girls are not ready to play at international level. “I’m a very experienced coach and I don’t believe the failure of the two teams to qualify for the World Cups should affect my application for a permanent post.” Safa president Danny Jordaan said it would be unfair to make conclusions before the Under-20 second leg match was played. “For now we will just have to wait until after the second match and only then will we be able to take a stand in this regard,” said Jordaan. But Botes was confident that Basetsana had the potential to turn things around in the second leg here on Saturday. “In Nigeria we did not start well. Overall it was a poor team performance but we can cover the deficit if the girls do what they are told to do,” said an optimistic Botes. But given the track record of the Nigerian national teams’ success, her prediction is highly unlikely. The 2014 Fifa Under-17 Women’s World Cup will be held in Costa Rica in March/April and the 2014 Fifa Under-20 World Cup will be held in Canada in August.