South Africa Miss Out On Cup Of Nations Place After Monumental Misunderstanding

Alan Duffy

9th, October 2011


By Alan Duffy

Poor old South Africa manager Pitso Mosimane made a right mess of his team’s final Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the weekend.

The 47-year-old manager was convinced that his side needed only a draw against Sierra Leone in order to make it to the finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, and his side duly obliged, playing out a goalless draw in Nelspruit.

His players and coaching staff even celebrated at the end, in the apparent knowledge that they had done what was needed. Indeed, the state run African Broadcasting Corporation even reported on the qualification. Except, they hadn’t qualified at all.

It quickly transpired that Mosimane (and everyone else, it seems) was a big eejit and had misunderstood the rules. In reality his side needed to win their remaining game against Sierra Leone, as despite ending up on level points with Niger, the head-to-head ruling meant that it was the central Africa side who progressed.

A frustrated Mosimane explained: “It’s very sad for South Africa because the country deserves to be in next year’s Nations Cup. I feel like I have failed,” (he feels like he has failed???)

“Do you think I would have left (striker) Majoro on the bench and put on a midfielder if I knew that we needed a goal? It doesn’t make sense.”, he said.

“Africa is a jungle, my friend,” he continued. “The European and South American formats are so much better because everything is running smoothly, but it’s very difficult to play in Africa.”

Posted in FAIL, International football

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  1. Tom Jones says:

    “The European and South American formats are so much better because everything is running smoothly, but it’s very difficult to play in Africa.”

    Worst excuse ever. There is similar rules in the qualifying for the European Championships and I am sure that every one of the coaches knows the rules.

  2. Andrew says:

    Africa is a jungle? How very un-PC.

  3. Montesquieu says:

    “The 47-year-old manager was convinced that his side needed only a draw against Sierra Leone in order to make it to the finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, and his side duly obliged, playing out a goalless draw in Nelspruit.”

    South Africa and England share the same stupid philosophy it seems. Do the least amount in order to qualify, than crash out and make up excuses.

  4. Lady B says:

    Hahahh I’m South African and I think our national footy team and manager are a joke! Last year’s World Cup performance by them is proof of that, but at least we took France out…

  5. Madjair says:

    What a pitsy.

  6. Irshaad says:

    I’m also South African and in order to qualify for competitions whether it’s for The African Cup of Nations or World Cup the only way you will guareentee your place in a competition is if you WIN the games you play and the games that matter the most!!!!!

  7. Lady B says:

    @Madjair: :D best comment so far!

  8. Irshaad says:

    And in any case The Euro’s are way more better to watch then football from Africa, apart from a few African Nations who can take on Euro’s Elite…. Ghana and Ivory Coast are the two main super powers of Africa… South Africa, Cameroon, Egypt and a few other so called big African teams won’t be in action in next years tournament, so it will be a walk in the park for Ghana,Ivory Coast and possibly Tunisia to win

  9. Irshaad says:

    From a South African point of view this was AN EPIC FAIL!!!… Thank you Alan for pointing out the stupidity of certain (“Pitso”) coaches… When you the score is 0-0 the ovious thing to do is throw on a few extra strikers to win the game even a monkey knows that!!!!

  10. chimpo says:

    @irshaad- thats pretty racist mate

  11. Chris chris says:

    Wow what rubbish, a monkey could understand those rules….

  12. QMario says:

    Its no wonder we can’t be bothered with our national team here, Khune also put in quite a strange performance. Not to be racist, but if a white guy follows soccer(football to you) in SA, its European. Even at the world cup we got behind Bafana for the opening game, and then they went back to meh, so we duly returned to supporting our respective European or South American teams.

  13. lemuel says:

    to bad south Africa,however support us ( Zambia) as we are together with Botswana will represent southern African nation.Bafana-bafana work hard next time.

  14. Alfy says:

    I am a Zimbabwean but I think SA should question the credibility of the rules. To me they are flawed. All teams should be viewed as equal teams . The goal difference rule is the only thing that enables that view to stand. this method allows some teams to field weak teams when playing small/eliminated teams. Where is Fifa Fair play then. Caf should learn that the same confusion happened in Angola. I feel strongly that the learning point is to try and have same rules governing soccer world wide. That way we avoid an embarassing situation they had in SA. Another learning point is that authorities should read and understand rules before affiliating to a tournament

  15. Stan@leonestar says:

    Ha!! it’s good that they did not qualify, when you look at the stupid behaviour of the SA goal keeper,he was making all sort of nonsence on the pitch saying he was buying time. the result is what they actually derserve.It clearly shows that they are unable to beat Sierra Leone,and indeed they are afraid of sierra leone. Sierra leone bow out of the race gracefully.they had the Ref on their side and yet still unable to do anything.WHAT A PITTY. go back to da drawing board. and please be warned, if you ever meet sierra leone again in any type of footballing race,they will be out.

  16. South African at gym says:

    Also South African..

    Irshaad is right. If you haven’t calculated what is needed in order to progress before the match, then you deserve to be dumped out the competition. Stupid African mentality. And no, I am not racist.

  17. Varun says:


  18. Jonathan says:

    As a person from Botswana I think to only thing tosay is… ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  19. eddie says:

    Khune in goal for SA was totally faking an injury for about 4 mins in extra time. It was absolutely disgraceful, he should have got a card at least. No real extra time was played because of his antics.
    SA deserved to lose, you should never ever allow your players to perform like he did.
    I can only assume he was instructed by the coaching staff as they thought they had done enough to progress. If not, then they should not select the guy again.

  20. PAUL says:

    I am also Zimbabwean,but i understand the rules,they were not changed for this tournament only.We always cry because we are not professional enough to do homework,which is necessary at this level.In any case,where were the highly paid administrators who should have been guiding the coach in terms of log standings and requirements for the game?And how can the coach say if he had known he would not have left his best striker on the bench?The paying public want the best performance from the team.

  21. frank says:

    i still remember very well when one of the sabc radio station presenters said one of the five most unlikely newspaper headlines would read like this “zebras qualiqy for africa cup of nations” hu huuu!the zebras have qualified and bafana have not!

  22. sipithi mailer Nkomo says:

    The coach and the players should have known the rules of the comepetition and their action was so embarrasing that they fooled the whole country. You do not go into a game to play for a draw but to WIN. This was a very stupit thing for a couch to plan for a draw and proves is a fool who does not deserve to be a coach SACK THE COACH for putting the Country into disgrace.

  23. Mzilikazi says:

    Also South African(black n proud). The coach should be sacked for failing the nation. His mandate was to qualify for the AFCON and he failed…simple as that!!! How the hell do you play for a draw, at home against a team ranked 150th in the world? That after having 2 full weeks to prepare? Our local league(PSL) was suspended for 2 weeks for Pitso to prepare the team…for what? A draw against Siera Leone at home? With all due respect to Siera Leone, they aren’t exactly the best team in the world…and I am sure they also know that!!! But on the day, they honestly deserved to win, no these useless Bafana players. All they are good at is celebration dances, if only they could play as well as they can dance!!! Wasting time practising some silly victory dances, embarassing man!!! Use that time to learn how to get the ball into the opponents’ net, not the useless choreography rubbish. That’s what kills our soccer, concerntrating on silly unproductive tricks and ‘dances’. Go ahead dance, but you will do it in your living room watching AFCON on TV like the rest of us!!! Pitso has always played ‘safe’, always defensive, even against Egypt at home he defended for 90 full minutes!!! That’s kak!!! He always talks of ‘getting a result’ whenever SA plays away from home….simply put what he’ll be saying is, we going for a draw!!!

    Khune and every player on the field could not have known about the Egypt match while on the field, they had no cellphones on them, they were not even watching TV, they followed Pitso’s stupid instructions. South Africa, though not the best team in Africa, is good enough for many coaches to succeed, so Pitso didn’t achieve anything special, many coaches will do well with Bafana given the resources, players and facilities we have. And then, he goes and play for a bl…dy draw AT HOME!!! The argument that he thought it would be enough is rubbish, we should play to win at all times!!!! Gees man, what a moron!!!

    Sack the idiot and leave the players alone, he told them what to do, otherwise he should have taken the culprits off,..unless he wants to say he can’t control the team…in which case he should go!!! Along with those overpaid SAFA officials!!! Good for nothing idiots!!!

  24. TMNT says:

    Pitso is great VISION 2014 Serero wow check all u guys in a few years and see wat u saying then. we were dumped cos of goal difference not being considered which is as retarded as having no goal line tech (or even worse goal line refs who actually do fuck-all in a game). fuck all the haters we stand together stronger than bfo – and in case u havent noticed SA does suffer bad luck (just check the cricket world cups or the latest piece of bullshit reffing against AUS in the rugby world cup). Peace fuck bags

  25. eddie says:

    TMNT stop blaming everyone else. They didn’t read the rules ‘finish and klaar’. the rules have been in place for a few years, it wasn’t made up after the game. As for the cricket, it is well documented that a mistake was made same as they have done in the football.
    The rugby sadly was partly the ref, but we had 80 mins to rectify the problems but relied on the boot for points. We didn’t score tries,
    Just like Bafana didn’t score goal. And out we went. Get over it.

  26. proteas? says:

    Whats with South Africa and qualification. Similar thing happened in 2003 cricket worldcup

  27. mzilikazi says:

    Agreed!!! Stop blaming everyone else.OUr team, coaching staff and management fucked-up. Part of this vision2014 should be about taking part in competitive competitions like AFCON, and we aren’t going there. Where will the experience of competing at Brazil 2014 come from? Just like Santana, Pitso is keeping his victories for the future. Believe u me, as a South African I want all the best for my country, but with the way we doing things…we are fucked!!! When are we going to stop learning and preparing, and start winning? Look at Rugby, our defeat hurt me, but the Bafana rubbish pissed me off…that’s the difference!!! Rugby guys tried their best, whereas Bafana did fuck-all!!! Pitso called striker Grobler, plus he had Majoro on the bench, but because he was not aiming high enough(for win), he left them out. Why should we keep hiding the facts, even if they are there for all to see? Pitso is not a bad coach, he did relatively well with Supersport United, but we all know he is not the coach we have in SA, if records are anything to go by. Gordon Ingesund has achieved more than many, including Pitso….but probably because we wanted a black coach(and I am saying this as a black man), we settled for less. Look at what Gordon did now with Swallows….they were down and out, then he came and rescued them, and they had a fairly good start to the current season under him. 2014 2014 my ass!!! Serero is doing well, and he is one for the future. I felt proud watching him play with such confidence for Ajax against Real Madrid. He is already playing a relatively big part in Ajax Amsterdam’s team, but against the Siera Leones’s(with due respect), he is ‘not ready yet’.

    Let’s stop fooling ourselves. Lets give the job to the right/deserving man, and if Pitso is the best, then SAFA must make sure his technical team is strengthened and is not just there to take orders, but to also contribute. It’s really embarassing that nobody knew these rules, and even worse that our coach wanted to do ‘just enough’ to get us through, where he could have aimed higher(for a win). TMNM, we all want the best for our country, and share your feelings and hopes for our team….but truth be told, WE(journalists,SAFA,BAFANA, Coach and any Sputh African that could have understood the rule and never bothered to enlighten the rest of us)fucked up! As long as we keep lookingfor stuff and people to blame other than overselves, and corecting mistakes we made…we will remain a joke that we have become!!! Just check all the media channels worldwide….CNN,BBC,etc and newspapers across the world..even our neighbours Botswana, Namibia etc…everyone is laughing at us, and it’s painful!!!! Lets stop the bullshit!!!!

  28. KINGB3113 says:

    @Mzilikazi Your first post has some good points but I don’t think the coach is the only one to blame. It was a poor performance from the boys full stop. The only players who deserved to wear the jersey that day were Andile Jali and Siphiwe Tshabalala (Which means a lot coming from me, considering the fact that I think he’s the most overrated player this side of the equator).
    This was a monumental fuck up on the side of Bafana as a whole and they have once again left us wiping the egg from our faces even after our great results vs Egypt.

    Looking forward we definately need a quality playmaker and some decent strickers because players like Bernard Parker and are a complete joke and how he even managed to become a proffesional player is a complete mystery to me

  29. KINGB3113 says:

    Also I think people need to stop placing so much hope on the shoulders of our “playmaker” Mr. Steven Pienaar. The guy is the most ineffective No.10 I’ve ever seen. I think that if people had not been on Teko Modise’s case after the Confed in 09, Bafana would be a much more potent threat on attack.

    I’ll remain a true fan by sticking my neck and support this team though, no matter how much they’ve fustrated, dissaponted and flat out embarrased me. I know this team will do at least one big thing before I die (fingers crossed it’s a World Cup). (I know it sounds crazy but I guess that optimism is what being a TRUE FAN is about)

  30. RITA BUAH says:

    This coach is so retarded. What a Joke and he said Africa is a jungle? I guess he is the only one who lives in this jungle he is talking about.
    He needs to be educated.

  31. Romzito says:

    I guess they were playing in the Mbombela jungle if Africa is a jungle. Come on, if we want Bafana to succeed then we must be able to deal with the real issues. The boys should have aimed for a victory at home, klaar. Sierra Leone is not known to be a soccer nation. Bafana must have the killer instinct in front of the goals. Khune’s antics did not help in showing that the team wanted to win. I also believe that the technical team was not fully aware of the implications of having 3 teams levelled. All the attention was on Niger only.

  32. lordrt says:

    They will never learn! When on the field, the first thing which comes to mind is to play for a win, only if things are not going as planned during the match that one can decide to content with a draw

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