Source :Isaac Mortey
South Africa missed out on qualification for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations after losing to Sudan in their final group game.
The 1996 champions were defeated 2-0 at the Al Khartoum Stadium in a ‘Make or Break’ game between the two sides to seal the final spot from Group C.
Economic Counselor to the South African High Commission, Mr. Mzwakhe Lubisi stated that the Bafana Bafana’s absence would sound as a wakeup call; SAFA is restructuring their Football so they can come back stronger for the world cup qualifiers.
South Africa has suffered embarrassing defeats to countries such as Sierra Leone, Mauritania and Niger in what many describe as their biggest failures.
After failing at their first attempt to qualify in 1994, the early years of Bafana’s participation in AFCON competitions brought much pride to the nation, winning the much coveted AFCON trophy on home soil in 1996 and then finished second and third place in 1998 and 2000 respectively.
21 years after their Glory years, South Africa has only managed two quarter-final appearances in six tournaments and was on four occasions eliminated at the opening group stage.
Between 2000 and 2022 edition in Cameroon, the African Cup of Nations has been held 11 times, the Bafana Bafana has taken part only seven times, Four times less than the number of times the competition has been held.
In 2013 South Africa qualified as hosts; on the other four occasions 2010, 2012, 2017 and now 2021, South Africa failed to qualify for the AFCON.
The latest failure is still fresh in the minds of many, Bafana Bafana ended third in Group C whereas Ghana and Sudan to booked their spots at the finals next year. To be fair to South Africa, it was a tight-run affair as they finished three points behind Ghana and two behind Sudan and had qualification in their hands going into the final day’s action.
Economically it’s not good as a sports nation to miss out on the African Cup of Nations but SAFA has invested in infrastructure for them to be ready for any events which the stadiums can be used to host Rugby games and conferences so it’s not a loss but an investment for the country.
The Association is investing in the youth so that when they regroup, they will have players who will be capable of taking the sports forward.
The South African Football Association has parted ways with Head Coach Molefi Ntseki after his failure to qualify for the AFCON.