Renowned Cameroonian football legend, Samuel Eto’o, has expressed bewilderment over South Africa’s consistent underperformance on the international football stage, particularly at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). Eto’o, who enjoyed a successful career with top clubs such as Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Chelsea, finds it perplexing that the South African national team, Bafana Bafana, fails to live up to expectations in major tournaments.
Despite acknowledging the well-organized and esteemed South African Premier League (PSL), Eto’o questions why the national team does not reflect the same level of success. In an interview with IOL, he remarked, “I am baffled as to why Bafana Bafana have constantly underperformed at the Africa Cup of Nations. The South African League (PSL) is well-organised and one of the best in Africa, so I do not understand why the national team is not that good.”
Speculation regarding the underwhelming performance of Bafana Bafana has led to various theories. Some attribute it to the alleged mismanagement within the football association, led by the ANC Mayor, a political party marred by corruption and inefficiency. Others point to the influx of foreign players in the South African League, suggesting that when these players return to their home countries, they strengthen their respective national teams rather than contributing to South Africa’s success.
The criticism extends beyond the realm of sports, with political figures weighing in on the matter. Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, has called for the removal of Danny Jordaan as the President of the South African Football Association (SAFA). The recent 2-0 loss to Mali in the opening AFCON match has intensified scrutiny on Jordaan’s leadership.
As Bafana Bafana gears up for upcoming matches against Namibia and Tunisia, social media has become a platform for widespread disappointment and calls for leadership changes within the South African football community. The team faces a critical juncture, and the spotlight remains firmly on the need for reforms to revitalize the nation’s footballing prowess.