ALSO READ: Safa simply don’t deal in realistic
Safa appear to have suddenly and conveniently decided that the senior men’s national team are not their most important product, pointing to the success of Banyana Banyana and their youth teams as proof Vision 2022 is going swimmingly.
Bafana’s failure to make it to next year’s Afcon was followed by much criticism of Safa, and a lack of accountability within the organisation for the senior national team’s lack of success for over two decades. Safa president Danny Jordaan was also widely castigated for not bothering to turn up to last week’s press conference announcing Ntseki’s sacking.
Safa’s Vision 2022 was also declared a failure in many quarters – Safa’s own website’s Vision 2022 manifesto declares: “We have set our sights on a long-term development plan to achieve the goal of always being in the top 3 of the African rankings, and in the top 20 of the World rankings.”
This has not happened and then some, with Bafana currently ranked 13th in Africa and 71st in the world. Nevertheless, Safa took to publishing an article claiming a “deliberate distortion …. to create a false impression that Vision 2022 is a new name for Bafana Bafana.”
The association went onto list their youth team’s achievements in qualifying for major tournaments, the success of Banyana in qualifying for the 2019 Fifa World Cup, as well as their creation of a Safa National Women’s League, as just some of the proof Vision 2022 was working just fine.
The cherry-picking of statistics was most revealing in Safa’s noting of the fact that the number of South African players with contracts overseas “currently stands at a staggering 65”.
Whether this is “staggering” is debatable. For example, here is a list of Nigerians playing overseas – a few more than 65. Furthermore, to claim all over the South African players with contracts abroad as a part of an association’s ‘vision’ is also a little deluded.
“With the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 set to begin in a couple of months, we are confident that Bafana Bafana will for failure to qualify for Cameroon 2022 by going all the way,” added Safa. “All the way” means qualify for the World Cup? Or win the World Cup? Either way, it is reasonable to believe Safa’s confidence is a little misplaced.