Bafana Bafana star Percy Tau has opened up about the difficulty of satisfying local football fans as the much-anticipated Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) edges closer.
Bafana will confront Mali in their Group E opener at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Ivory Coast on Tuesday next week.
Tau is one of the senior players in Hugo Broos’ squad having featured in the 2019 Afcon in Egypt where Bafana were eliminated in the quarter-finals after losing 2-1 to Nigeria.
It goes without saying that Bafana turned up the books and did just enough to make it out of the group stages – a feat that many did not think was achievable.
In the group stages of the 2019 leg of the tournament, the local national football team was pitted against Morocco, Ivory Coast and Namibia.
The South Africans went on to cause the biggest upset of the competition when they sent host nation Egypt packing after beating them 1-0 in the round of 16, thanks to Thembinkosi Lorch’s goal in the 85th minute.
Huge task to please nation
Tau, who was key in Bafana’s impressive run at their previous Afcon participation, said it will always be a difficult task to satisfy all the South Africans.
“It’s always difficult for us to satisfy the public, but we’ve always wanted to be a team that could try and compete,” Tau said during a media briefing in Stellenbosch, Western Cape on Monday.
“Even the last time I went to Afcon in Egypt, we wanted to compete and try our best to go all the way, that has not changed even now.
“People have different opinions about the process we’re in, because they say this based on [us] missing out on the last [Afcon tournament in 2021].
“We understand that and we want to go all the way [this time around].”
Deal on bonuses reached
Meanwhile, Bafana players have signed a bonus agreement with the SA Football Association (Safa) and Tau, who was part of the delegation of senior players negotiating with Safa, said the team is happy with the outcome ahead of the soccer spectacle in Ivory Coast.
“We’re happy to finalise everything, I don’t think the money was the only issue,” he said.
“There were other issues that we had to sort out. We’re happy that everything was sorted out. Now we just want to focus on football.”