Confed final aftermath: Pirates coach unpacks truth behind PSL teams' struggles in Africa

Mandla Ncikazi (Gallo Images)
Mandla Ncikazi (Gallo Images)
  • Orlando Pirates went down 5-4 in a penalty shootout to RS Berkane in the CAF Confederation Cup final on Friday.
  • Buccaneers co-coach Mandla Ncikazi believes more needs to be done in South Africa for youth infrastructure, which will improve football in the country.
  • Pirates return to action next week Wednesday in the DStv Premiership.

Orlando Pirates' defeat to Moroccan side RS Berkane has seen a second South African team in the past 12 months fail to conquer Africa's biggest club competitions.

READ | 'We disappointed millions of South Africans!' - Pirates coach Ncikazi after CAF final defeat

In the CAF Champions League last year, the Buccaneers' rivals and Soweto neighbours, Kaizer Chiefs, tasted defeat to Pitso Mosimane's Al Ahly.

On Friday, it was Pirates' turn in the CAF Confederation Cup final, as the South Africans left at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Nigeria with runners up medals.

The Buccaneers were wasteful in front of goal, with Deon Hotto failing to rattle the back of the net on three occasions.

Sundowns remain the only team from the DStv Premiership to win the Champions League in the past decade.

The defeat for Pirates was their third CAF final defeat in nine years.

Pirates finished as runners-up in the Champions League final in 2013 and in the 2015 edition of the Confed Cup.

Mandla Ncikazi, Buccaneers co-coach, shoulders the blame for the disappointing loss to Berkane.

He also believes that despite South African teams frequently participating in CAF competitions, more needs to be done before teams can become world-beaters.

"There are good teams and players in Africa," said the former Golden Arrows mentor.

"What we lack is the infrastructure to be equated with Europeans. Being in Africa is not an advantage.

"We can win youth tournaments but not the World Cup. This suggests that something is going wrong in between.

"Covid has also impacted football. For me, until we can reach a level where we can add infrastructure at youth level, we will struggle to compete," Ncikazi concluded.

The Buccaneers will now return to South Africa over the weekend as they have three DStv Premiership matches remaining before their season comes to an end.

Pirates entertain relegation-threatened Maritzburg United on Wednesday, 25 May before travelling to Royal AM on Sunday, 29 May.

Meanwhile, three days later on Wednesday, 1 June, Pirates take on SuperSport United in the final match of the season.

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