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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Local soccer in shambles

By unknown | Sep 29, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

There will still be soccer games played in South Africa after the eagerly-awaited 2010 Fifa World Cup finals and it's the naked truth.

There will still be soccer games played in South Africa after the eagerly-awaited 2010 Fifa World Cup finals and it's the naked truth.

It is for that reason that I strongly believe the local soccer stakeholders should really start channeling their energies into development.

The downward-spiral of national teams - from Bafana Bafana to the junior sides - is a cause for concern.

First it was the Under-23 national side's failure - for heavens' sake for the second consecutive time - to participate in the Olympics in Beijing last month.

If we were that serious, right now we were supposed to be busy finalising plans (not waffling about what we could do) for the 2012 Olympics, of hoe Bra Oli (Safa boss Molefi Oliphant)?

Subsequent to that, Bafana Bafana, guided by the confused Joel Santana, failed to qualify for the 2009 MTN Africa Cup of Nations finals.

As if that was not enough Majimbos also bombed out of the 2009 African Under-17 Championships finals in Rwanda after losing to Malawi last weekend.

Now we are left with two teams, Amajita and Amabinnesplaas. We are praying for a miracle to happen despite the refusal by some selfish clubs to release players.

The least said about our women's national teams the better. Our women just like Majimbos they are still to qualify for a global competition.

It is embarrassing that other African countries such as Ivory Coast, Ghana and Angola, despite their limited financial resources, are doing well.

Eight to 10 years ago, our junior national teams had half their players coming from the once powerful Transnet Football School of Excellence.

Three years ago or so, Bafana Bafana also had several products of Excellence such as Steven Pienaar, Nkosinathi Nhleko, Jeff Ntuka, Dillion Sheppard and Brett Evans.

It is about time that we start refocussing on rebuilding Excellence and establish similar academies in all the provinces.

As one of World Cup legacy projects, let us revisit the idea of reviving Wednesday school leagues with the help of the departments of education and sport and recreation.

After all, the emergence of the South African Schools Football Association under the leadership of Mandla "Shoes" Mazibuko was also hoped to address this particular concern.


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