Saturday, June 19, 2010

Why South Africa Lost

Hat tip - Ingrid

Sy Lerman says vuvuzelas don't win soccer matches, players do

JOHANNESBURG - Vuvuzelas, as Bafana Bafana have now cruelly discovered, don't win soccer matches.

Players win soccer games.

And when players of lesser experience and know-how are thrown into the deep end of a challenging World Cup cauldron - as Bafana Bafana were in the 3-0 demolition by Uruguay at a shell-shocked, iced-up Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Wednesday night - without the right kind of match conditioning and preparation it should come as no surprise when they end up sinking into an abyss of despair and failure.

Ranked 83rd in the world, the initial gnawing and disturbing realisation that South Africa might well become the first host nation of a World Cup in 80 years not to progress beyond the first round, emerged when the draw last December placed them in a first-round group that included the now ninth-ranked France, 16th-ranked Uruguay and 17th-rated Mexico.

So what happened after this cruel and unexpected stroke of fate had befallen them? Bafana ignored the obvious and urgent objective to acclimitise themselves to the kind of opposition they were destined to face in the World Cup and proceded to pump up a false level of security, optimism and confidence by going through 13 unbeaten matches against teams that were mainly mediocre and worse.

None of the sides Bafana faced in this misconstructed build-up period measured up to France, Uruguay and Mexico - and so it was almost inevitable the old maxim that you reap what you sow would come into play.

As any sportsman will tell you, when you step up a level without suitable preparation you are simply looking for trouble and destined to flounder.

Yet, for all this, the mood after the opening 1-1 draw against a Mexican side that followed well the old Muhammad Ali maxim of "floating like a butterfly", but possessed none of the great man's follow-up assertion to "sting like a bee" was epitomised by the headline "We have nothing to fear from Uruguay."

So who to blame for Bafana preparing for the World Cup against the likes of hastily-assembled Thailand and Guatamala?

Well the South African Football Association (Safa) - both the present regime and that, which preceded them in what was effectively a coup last year - must jointly take the lion's share of the blame.

An adequate programme of build-up games should have been implemented for Bafana from the moment that South Africa were awarded the historic right of becoming the first African nation to stage the World Cup.

But seasoned coach Carlos Alberto Parreira is not blameless either, despite his constant refrain of looking for tougher matches.

Parreira has been around for a long time during his twin-pronged tenure with Bafana and he too should have looked ahead.

Instead, it seemed, he became sucked in by the spreading delusion of major progress which emanated from the unbeaten streak against the make-shift minnows.

And now Bafana are perched on the edge of a precipes of extinction after the first round from its own World Cup.

Only an amazing outcome of results and scores in the remaining Group A games can save them, with their fate now largely out of their own hands and the suspensions of goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and Kagisho Dikgacoi adding to ther wavering loss of morale and confidence.

And while Safa president Kirsten Nematandani is optimistic Bafana will stage a comeback against France in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, they might well find themselves playing for nothing more than to restore a measure of pride.

7 Opinion(s):

Viking said...

Exzanian you are so ignorant!

Don't you know the reason they lost was because of racism?

The white colonialist Uruguayans got their first goal off the backs (literally) of the underprivileged Africans and it all went downhill from there.

The supposedly "neutral" rules of soccer resulted in the unfair exclusion of the SA goalie (he was sent off) while the violence he inflicted (the foul) was only a result of the violence of the colonial occupation of the South American imperialists on African soil (i.e. the pitch).

Even the ball was white! And so were the Uruguayan strips. This led to the humiliation of the South African team which was given material form by the penalty which led to the second goal.

The third goal was even scored by a black man, an Uncle Tom if there ever was one, who, instead of taking the side of his brethren, chose to throw in his lot with the imperialists.

No doubt the French invaders have similar plans.

Piet the Pirate said...

Blogger Viking said...
Don't you know the reason they lost was because of racism?

No no no Viking. Go to the back of the class and put your dunces hat on, because we all know, IT IS ALL APARTHEID`S FAULT.

Anonymous said...

There is a saying that goes like this:

"White men can't jump"

Well I have a more applicable saying:

"Black men can't play soccer"


Anonymous said...

But Bafana had to win. The ancestors were on their side. Bulls were slaughtered and chicken entrails scattered around stadiums. How can this be?? The mighty sha-men of all the great tribes assembled and blessed Bafna Bafna.

How can this be??????


Viking said...

I stand corrected, Piet!

Exzanian said...

Ok, I admit it, it was the fault of white ex-pats like me. Not enuffa ama white suppottas. Becos off arwa negateev ama bloggs we acta like-a the bad muti vibrashuns across da warter...

Exzanian said...

hoo boy, looking at the absolute clusterfuck that the french team has become, I would not be surprised on Tuesday if they simply fall on their sword and give the game to bfbf to appease their guilt over the handball incident against Ireland. The farking french have got no killer instinct, no cajones at all, bunch of wankers! I'm cheering for bfbf before I cheer for that sorry cunch of bunts on Tuesday!