30 June 2019 – The South African Football Association (SAFA) is disappointed by the reckless and malicious article by Sunday Sun’s Mathews Mpete which in all essence is devoid of facts.
For starters, Mpete in his article sites the current period as the worst in South African football history. The fact is, this is contrary to the truth and facts on the ground.
For the record, in the past few years, our national teams have achieved their primary objective and that is of qualifying constantly for major tournaments (the second now is to make an impact in those tournaments).
Since SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan assumed office in September 2013, Bafana Bafana have qualified for AFCON 2015 in Equatorial Guinea and current 2019 AFCON compared to the period of 2009-2013 where the senior national team never qualified for Africa’s premier tournament.
Our Senior Women’s National Team, Banyana Banyana have qualified for the past three AWCON tournaments and were runners up to Nigeria last year and also qualified for the first time for the FIFA World Cup in France2019.
Besides being ranked number 2 on the African continent, Banyana Banyana have been champions of COSAFA for the past two editions. They also qualified for the Rio Olympics in 2016 in which South Africa were one of the few countries that had two teams at the Olympics; the other one team being the U23 national team. South Africa had last qualified for the men’s national team in Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Amajita, our U20 National Men’s team, qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 2017 in Korea and 2019 in Poland having finished among the top four teams on the continent. The u20 had last qualified for FIFA World Cup in 2003.
Both our U17 Women and Men’s National Teams qualified for the FIFA World Cups in recent years. Amajimbos were finalists in the Junior Africa Cup of Nations in Niger where they lost to Mali in the final to qualify for Chile FIFA U17 World Cup in 2015.
Bantwana, the national U17 Women’s National Team qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Uruguay2018.
As we said, SAFA has achieved its number one objective of making sure that all our national teams constantly qualify for major tournaments.
The next step now is to make sure that we convert those qualifications to making an impact on them.
As we speak, we are all looking forward to Bafana Bafana reaching the knock out stage of the ongoing AFCON tournament in Egypt and from there onwards, it can be anyone’s game.
There are many other wild allegations made by Mr Mpete which are not worth articulating here. For example, he said SAFA has a huge delegation in Egypt, which is a blatant lie.
SAFA’s only delegation in Egypt is NEC member, Mr Kwenza Ngwenya who is the team’s head of delegation.
The President of SAFA is a member of the CAF Executive and vice-president of the CAF AFCON organising committee.
He is in Egypt for CAF duties and not on SAFA business.
The article by Mr Mpete is malicious sensationalism aimed at causing great harm to the name of South Africa on the continent and among the participating nations in Egypt.