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We can’t do anything other than expect Bafana to be an embarrassment, but at least our other national side (and probably main one) go a long way in soothing our pain.

Last year Bafana Bafana fans burst out of their skins with joy after the team recorded their first win against Nigeria in a competitive match.

Surely an away win, of all things, over Nigeria was already almost enough in a group where the top two qualified and which featured the lowly Seychelles and Libya?

Fast forward 17 months, and how dramatically that picture has changed.

The team who started their campaign with a loss has qualified with a game in hand and the team so widely celebrated after their opening win needs a draw in their match away to Libya – and are in real danger of missing out.

If Bafana had managed one goal in either their home tie against Libya or the away match against Seychelles, they would have been cut and dried.

But now they are facing yet another embarrassment – and that is quite an achievement, taking their high standards of embarrassments into consideration.

As usual, the coach – which happens to be Stuart Baxter at this particular moment – is in the firing line.

Before him, it was Shakes Mashaba; before him, it was Gordon Igesund … the list goes on.

Coaches have changed, but our poor hapless Bafana stay consistent in disappointing us year in and year out.

When will someone at Safa House wake up and realise that not even a task team consisting of Jose Mourinho, Zinedine Zidane and Joachim Loew would be able to rescue Bafana in their current form?

Yet, when Baxter finally goes (either after failing to qualify for AFCON or after a first-round flop), the rumours of high-profile international managers will come flying again to show us just how desperate Safa is to restore Bafana’s
pride.

South Africa [Banyana Banyana]
South Africa [Banyana Banyana]
Been there, done that!

Move over to our national women’s side and you quickly realise that you don’t need big-name coaches with bloated CVs or players who earn mega bucks and drive fancy cars to perform when it matters most.

Banyana Banyana surely came to the party with their historic win over Nigeria at the Women’s AFCON in Ghana last weekend.

After Safa’s big-name appointment of Vera Pauw didn’t work out quite the way they had hoped, former player Desiree Ellis stepped up to the plate.

Under her watch the team is making Mzansi really proud and they could soon earn their very first World Cup berth.

And with that, Banyana will put Bafana to shame even more than they are managing themselves.

Quite interestingly, the women don’t even have a local professional league.

We’ve heard for ages how there’s one in the pipeline, but it hasn’t materialised yet.

In the meantime, the handful of Banyana players plying their trade overseas have to make tough trips from the likes of the United States and Australia to assemble in South Africa before matches.

Had Bafana stars been “burdened” with trips like that, I can see how three or four prima donnas would refuse to board their flights because the tickets weren’t first class out of fear of straining their precious limbs.

We can’t do anything other than expect Bafana to be an embarrassment, but at least Banyana go a long way in soothing our pain.

Source: Jaco van der Merwe

www.sports24ghana.com

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