Bafana Bafana

SAFA insists 'Vision 2022' can't be judged solely on Bafana Bafana's failures

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Danny Jordaan (Gallo Images)
Danny Jordaan (Gallo Images)

The South African Football Association (SAFA) insists the idea of 'Vision 2022' has been a success despite Bafana Bafana's recent failure to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

In a statement released on Tuesday evening, SAFA defended 'Vision 2022' after receiving a backlash from various quarters, arguing that progress can't be measured solely on the senior men's national team's form.  

"SAFA has 10 national teams and not only a single national team called Bafana Bafana. The deliberate distortion is to create a false impression that Vision 2022 is a new name for Bafana Bafana," SAFA said in a statement.

"Vision 2022 was initially envisioned after most of our national teams failed to qualify for major tournaments, and Bafana Bafana failed to qualify for successive 2010 and the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

"That failure by most of our national teams to qualify for major tournaments led to a long-term vision to build an internationally competitive team by 2022."

Bafana Bafana was one point away from booking a ticket to next year's Afcon in Cameroon, but a defeat against a plucky Sudan led to yet another fruitless qualifying campaign.

Less than three days after returning from Sudan, SAFA opted to pull the proverbial trigger and terminate Molefi Ntseki's five-year deal.

That drama, however, shouldn't overshadow the essence of the strategic document, says SAFA, adding that it is a roadmap for every national team and department under the SAFA umbrella and includes aspects such as coaching education, referees, administration, and infrastructural development.

"The idea of this blueprint was to make sure that most if not all of our national teams qualify for global tournaments and constantly be among the top teams on the continent," the statement continued.

"While failure by Bafana Bafana to qualify for Cameroon 2022 Afcon was a setback for Vision 2022, it is important to note that most of the targets of this blueprint were achieved and are in the process of being attained.

"The process of correcting the 2010 and 2012 disappointments and subsequent failures by our other junior national teams was to ensure that all our national teams regularly qualify for major tournaments and remain among the top 3 on the African continent.

"The U-17 National Team managed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 2015, which consequently saw the U-20 successfully qualifying for the World Cups in 2017 and 2019.

"That team was meant to graduate to U-23 Olympic Team, which also led to the team qualifying for successive Olympics in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 (later 2021).

"These continuous successes by junior teams saw a record number of South African players getting contracts overseas, and the number currently stands at a staggering 65 and still counting."

SAFA added: "With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 set to begin in a couple of months, we are confident that Bafana Bafana will atone for failure to qualify for Cameroon 2022 by going all the way."

Meanwhile, SAFA president Danny Jordaan was not present at last week's media conference, with the association's CEO, Tebogo Motlanthe, and technical committee chair, Jack Maluleka, sent to answer all the media's probing questions.

Less than 24 hours after that press conference, Jordaan was announced as an advisor to newly appointed CAF president Patrice Motsepe.

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