Struggling junior national teams not good for local football

The future of South African football still looks unstable despite Bafana Bafana qualifying for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Ivory Coast in January 2024.

This after junior national teams failed to qualify for major tournaments, which will hamper Bafana in years to come, as the current junior national team players will lack experience of playing on the continent.

South Africa’s Under-23 national team will not be competing in the upcoming 2023 Afcon in Morocco after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Congo-Brazzaville on Monday evening.

Meanwhile, Amajita also saw their CAF Under-20 Afcon dream being shattered when they lost 2-1 to Mozambique in the Cosafa Cup at Somhlolo Stadium in eSwatini in October 2022.

The Under-23’s failure to qualify for Afcon also means that South Africa will not participate at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.

This also means that a pool of South African talent will miss out on a potential career-changing opportunity, as they will only be limited to domestic football in their respective domestic leagues.

David Notoane, the Under-23 coach, blamed their failure to qualify for Afcon on poor preparation, with his side not playing a single match since October 2022 prior to back-to-back fixtures against Congo-Brazzaville.

“These are the dreams that we live for as coaches, to go to major tournaments. We were so close, yet so far,” Notoane said after the match.

“It’s unfortunate that most of the time one had to deal with last-minute situations in putting the team together.

“[This is] despite efforts to formulate long-term strategy that would give the team a chance of good preparations to build a good team, so that when we come to these tournaments and qualifiers, we are better prepared.”

For the latest sport news from Sunday World, click here. 

Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa.

Latest News