Bafana told to win the Afcon in Ghana

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

South African Football Association president Molefi Oliphant expects Bafana Bafana to reclaim the Africa Cup of Nations title in Ghana in February.

The tournament starts from January 20 to February 10.

"I don't see any reason why we should not win it," Oliphant said at the Sowetan Extra Time session in Rosebank, Johannesburg, on Friday night.

The event is sponsored by The Famous Crouse Malt Whiskey and is one of the media partners.

The last time South Africa won the Afcon was in 1996 on home soil. Last year Bafana returned from Egypt without a single point.

South Africa also failed to score a single goal. The last time the team returned home with a medal was in 2000 under Trott Moloto when they beat Tunisia 4-3 on penalties in a playoff for a bronze medal.

"I will be looking for the ultimate in Ghana. The ultimate is to win it," said Oliphant.

Turning to the 2010 World Cup, Oliphant was not afraid to make his own assessment on the success of Bafana Bafana.

This after he was asked what would Safa's acceptable achievement be for Bafana in relation to the World Cup performance.

"In my view, (reaching the) semifinals. But I have no control on the 11 players that will go into the park during the games."

He said Safa had employed Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira and some of his compatriost to assist him to further enhance the technical capacity of Bafana.

"The mandate of the coach is simple: he has to build a competitive team.

"The team must continue to hold its own in the competition.

"We must not create an impression in their minds that failing to win the World Cup is an apocalyptical catastrophe.

"There is a tomorrow, and therefore our team must make us proud within reasonable limits in 2010."

Oliphant, who is also the deputy president of the Confederation of African Football, went on to say it did not mean as the hosts a country has to win the World Cup.

He cited examples of previous host countries, the majority of whom did not even reach the semifinal stages.

"In 1990, Italy hosted but it was won by Argentina. In 1994 in the United States, it was won by Brazil. But in 1998, France hosted and won it."

l Bafana Bafana remain 77th on the latest Fifa rankings released yesterday, which saw Argentina replacing Brazil as new leaders. Africa's top team, Nigeria, are 20th.

The top 10 counties: Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Portugal, Netherlands and Croatia.