While others have progressed, we have remained stagnant, or regressed
The early success enjoyed by the South African national football team – Bafana Bafana – made us believe that we are better than most African countries.
The truth of the matter is that football in the rest of the continent has progressed tremendously, while our game at the southern tip of Africa has remained stagnant, or has regressed.
After the success of Bafana in the 1996 African Cup of Nations, our football fortunes have taken a dive, much to the dismay of many football-loving South Africans.
The dismal performance of Bafana against Cape Verde this week, an island with an occupancy of just over 539 000, has proved once again that our football is not on par with the rest of the world.
Bafana played Cape Verde twice in the space of five days, losing both home and away matches 2-1, and basically killing our chances of participating in the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.
Our national Premier Soccer League might be the richest in Africa, but in terms of its ability to produce world-class players, we are lagging far behind other countries on the continent.
It does not matter which coach we employ, Bafana will continue with their below-par performances until we get to the root of what is really wrong with our football.
Without proper development structures at grass-root level to focus on developing talent, dominance of the continent will remain a pipe-dream.
We also need to start sending more players to the big leagues in Europe, to better acquaint them with the competitive nature of world football.
After the retirement of striker and Bafana’s all-time leading goalscorer, Benni McCarthy, South Africa has never produced a player who can compete with the best in the world.
Our players only play in some of Europe’s less significant leagues.
There is definitely something wrong with that.
If we fail to get this right, maybe it is high time we come to terms with the sad reality – that our footballers are just not good enough.