South African football’s rising pedigree can only get better and better going forward, said SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan.
The SAFA President said recent exploits by the country’s various national teams had shown the country’s abundant talent, which if it continues to be properly honed, can reach dizzy heights.
Banyana Banyana who have already qualified for the All Africa Games, beat Kenya 1-0 on Sunday to book a date with Equatorial Guinea for the final berth in the Rio 2016 Olympics while the country’s U23 reached the last 8 in Senegal in which three countries that go to Brazil next year will be determined.
The two sides’ success comes on the backdrop of the U17 having qualified for the World Cup in Chile while both Bafana Bafana and Amajita reached their respective CAF continental competitions last season and continue to compete resolutely on major international competitions.
Bafana Bafana are competing on three fronts; in CHAN, AFCON and World Cup competitions while the national U19 have reached the semis of the Durban International tournament currently taking place in the coastal city.
Dr Jordaan praised his executive for ploughing heavily financially on junior teams.
“The introduction of national and international junior tournaments has been the main catalyst of why our national teams are starting to compete well and constantly on international level. This is what football lovers have been calling for and the results are there for all to see.”
He said the U17 qualified for the World Cup after the U17 national championships in which the majority of the players in the team were identified. It was the same case with the U20 who reached the last 8 in Senegal last February in which most of the players were identified during the U19 championships in Bloemfontein last year.
“All our junior teams have now been exposed to playing regular tournaments and against the best on the globe and such tournaments prepare them for the rigours of international football. This has benefitted all our national teams,” added Dr Jordaan.
“Our U19 has received some huge praises from the international community at the way they have exhibited their talent at the ongoing Durban tournament and with talent scouts all over, people can only imagine where our football is headed to.”
With the recent acquisition of the R100m-Technical Centre and the appointment of Neil Tovey as the national Technical Director, Dr Jordaan said things were looking great for the country’s number one sport.