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Radebe Sends Bafana Warning

Legendary Leeds United and Bafana Bafana defender Lucas Radebe is not convinced that Bafana Bafana will do well in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Ivory Coast next year. 

The Chief, who was one of the best defenders of his time, said he doesn’t think this squad has the requisite to pass the group stages because a lot needs to be done to reach that level, which Hugo Broos said is his target. 

Radebe also questioned the way Bafana qualified, struggling to put away a low-rankied nation like Liberia in the AFCON qualifiers.

Bafana qualified for the AFCON finals next year in a three-nation group that was narrowed by CAF after Zimbabwe could not overturn their FIFA ban.

Some Zimbabwe players, who play their trade in the PSL, have told iDiski Times that, if they were part of the group, Bafana would have not qualified for the AFCON finals next year.     

Immediately after Bafana qualified for the AFCON finals after beating Liberia, Broos vowed that he will try his best to reach the knockout stages, but Radebe, who was part of the 1996 AFCON triumph with Bafana, is not convinced as yet. 

“When you look at Bafana and you are thinking, ‘do we deserve to qualify? Will we compete?’” asked Radebe to iDiski Times on the sidelines of the inaugural CAF African School Football Championship in Durban.

“We can qualify, but from there on it’s a different level. It’s okay we qualified, but when you think of Bafana, it is not nice. But it is a good start [to qualify].  

“But we shouldn’t be excited to be honest because we are going to be excited and be disappointed.”

Bafana will still be tested in the next game against the highest-ranked nation on the African continent and first to qualify for a FIFA World Cup semi-final, Morocco, who they will meet in their last group match in June to complete the qualification.   

Morocco, who beat Bafana 2-1 in the opening match of the group in June last year, have beaten some of the top nations over the last months, the latest being Brazil, but also Belgium, Portugal and Spain – with the latter trio in the World Cup finals.

Radebe, who will be remembered for scoring against Spain when Bafana lost 3-2 in the 2002 World Cup finals, says SAFA and the PSL should come together for a better alignment of camps for Bafana, something that is being done by the Springboks ahead of the Rugby World Cup finals later this year in France.

This would give coach Broos sufficient time to access and prepare the national team for the AFCON finals because ahead of such tournament coaches normally have two weeks before the competition starts.

“Everyone must come together and we have to have one goal,” said Radebe

“All of us – PSL, SAFA, coaches – everyone. This will help us in order to move forward.” 

Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala is iDiski Times' KwaZulu-Natal-based web journalist. Boasting extensive experience in the South African football landscape, Robin-Duke has previously worked for Kick-Off Magazine, Soccer Laduma, and Daily Sun and Sunday Sun. He specialises in breaking news and transfers around South Africa’s big clubs in KZN.