DESPITE the presence of professional footballers in the team, the South African beach soccer team, Beach Bafana, failed once again to qualify for the 2009 Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup.
The qualifiers were held in Durban from Wednesday until yesterday where the South Africans lost all their group stage matches by 2-4 and 6-7 to Morocco and Cote d'Ivoire respectively, as a result the latter and Nigeria qualified to represent Africa in the world event in Dubai from November 16 to 22.
South Africa had Moroka Swallows' striker Phumelele "Ace" Bhengu, Nathi Lions' Siyabonga Mbambo and Thando Mthembu including Thanda Royal Zulu's Nduduzo Phakathi.
Nigeria squeezed home against Senegal in a titanic struggle for a first Dubai berth at stake leaving the Lions of Terenga wondering what happened, when they beat them 7-6 in the first semi-finals.
After failing to qualify for the world showpiece in the past four years, Cote d'Ivoire splashed a superb performance during a match that ebbed and flowed more than the sea which was just 50 metres away.