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Bafana Skins – what went wrong for Africa?

July 2nd, 2010 by · No Comments · Features, Football

Ghana, adopted by South Africa after the hosts failed to qualify for the second round, had been nicknamed BaGhana BaGhana locally. Sadly for the locals, and many millions across Africa willing them on, they failed to reach the semi-finals in one of the cruelest games we’ve witnessed.

High hopes before the tournament turned to fear that none of the African teams would make it out of the groups. Ghana has, however, matched the achievements of Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002 by reaching the quarter-finals. So as the dust settles on their respective campaigns what exactly has African football achieved?

With five of their six teams being eliminated at the group stage, well below expectations, the consensus is that Algeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa had the talent. So what went wrong? Let’s start with the good news.


The Black Stars scrapped through Group D behind Germany but improved with each game. After beating USA, they should have wrapped up the game against Uruguay in the last minute of extra-time. Although they leave the tournament, with the bitter memory of how close they came to the semi-finals, they have saved some of the African blushes. This squad, the youngest in the tournament, will come back stronger for the experience but needs to address the inability to win a game in 90mins. Penalty practice might be worth looking at too. Video Relive the sadness.

South Africa

Despite winning and drawing a game they failed to progress and became the first hosts to miss the second stage. Group A was a tough group but it was South Africa’s three-goal collapse against Uruguay that let Mexico thorough on goal difference. Pitso Mosimane is tipped to succeed Carlos Alberto Parreira as coach, but the SAFA is currently ‘engaged in a seemingly absurd process’ by which his candidacy is referred to a ‘technical commitee’ for approval. Video Oh, how we laughed.


The Super Eagles, with probably the deepest talent pool in African football, once again failed to live up to expectations. They finished bottom of their group with just 1 point. Things got ugly back home and FIFA have had to intervene after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan suspended the national team from international competition for the next two years. FIFA have given the Nigerian government 48 hours to rescind the ban or face expulsion from FIFA. Video The miss of the Tournament

Part 2 tomorrow

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