South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan is the latest high ranking official to launch a stinging attack on Bafana Bafana’s performance against the Ivory Coast on Monday and has said that Safa expected the team to at the minimum reach the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Minister of sport and recreation Nathi Mthethwa blasted Bafana’s display as “not acceptable”, in a Group D game in which they lost 1-0 to the Elephants, and failed to muster a single shot on target. Bafana will next play Namibia on Friday.
“I was not impressed, let me just stop at that, because it is really for the coaches to pick the team and to organise the formation, and to instruct the players on what to do,” said Jordaan, and he did not stop at that.
“This was not the performance we expected from Bafana. I think the players know this, and are very unhappy. This (Bafana) is one of the most feared teams on the continent. The Senegal coach told me, nobody on the continent can play against you, can take you on, with your passing. He said that this is why the sit back against Bafana, they keep between four and six players at the back. They have big defenders, but they are slow and we have quick forwards, therefore they stay back.
“But what they say is that from the 70th minute we will start making mistakes, giving wrong passes, losing passes, and then they hit you on the counter and beat you. This is what they do, every team employs the same strategy against us. Namibia will do the same thing, they will put six or seven on the back, even the Seychelles did it (Bafana drew 0-0 in Seychelles in qualifying). Now it is for the coaches to decide, now that teams just wait for them at the back, what are they going to do?
“This thing of playing (the ball) back, playing back they just push you back and wait for you to make a mistake. Every team has the same strategy. You can’t do the same thing in every match. This is the first match we have lost in one and a half years. We have quality players, and we still have (Thulani) Serero and (Bongani) Zungu on the bench, two of the best passers on the continent. Other coaches say they wish they had two of the midfielders we have.
“We expect them (Bafana) to go to the second round.
“That is why we have a win bonus structure that starts in the second round. Then they will get R320 000 each.”