Bafana Bafana legend Booth blasts Safa: ‘This would never happen in Nigeria’

Danny Jordaan, Safa president, September 2022Backpagepix
  • Booth blamed Safa for neglecting junior teams
  • Bafana legend feels there is no plan for the sides
  • Ex-defender wants South Africa to lean from Nigeria

WHAT HAPPENED? South Africa’s U23 and U20 teams have both been knocked out of qualifiers for their respective continental tournaments and Booth feels it is the fault of Safa who have ‘failed’ to provide them with the necessary resources that would yield good results.

He pointed to the meticulous planning of the mid 90s when there was a six-year plan that culminated in their qualification for the 2000 Olympics, under former Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba, something he feels has been abandoned by the current regime led by Danny Jordaan.

South Africa’s recent poor showing has seen pressure increase on Jordaan with David Notoane also blaming the FA for his side’s exit when he stepped down as the U23 team coach on Wednesday.

Booth feels the neglect has resulted into fan apathy towards the PSL and South Africa’s national teams which have now become the subject of social media banter from the supporters who prefer overseas leagues.

The former defender urged South Africans to learn from Nigerians who he claimed demand for accountability and not make fun of their teams.

WHAT DID HE SAY? "I wish that the U17, U20 and U23 boys and girls will be given more resources and more time to prepare because, unfortunately, they don't have," Booth said, as per the SowetanLIVE.

"[But] with the same leadership in charge, I'm not sure if anything is going to change. Unfortunately, we don't have passionate fans that support the national teams.

"More and more of our fans are drifting into English Premiership and making funny comments on social media whereas if this [failure] was happening in Nigeria or Morocco, the fans would have a different reaction.

"Hopefully, that changes the attitude of our leadership and our fans. Otherwise, the status quo will remain, unfortunately.

"If you buy cheap goods, they're not going to last very long. You get what you pay for. The resources that you put into something are going to be the results."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Booth’s comments will likely to draw mixed reactions given Nigeria U23, just like South Africa, failed to qualify for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations set to be held in Morocco in June and July.

Bafana Bafana have also secured their ticket to the senior Afcon next year, albeit from a three-team group, while Nigeria are still yet to qualify after four matches from a group that has Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe.

Super Eagles fans have equally been critical of their team over the years and that was on the fore last week when they lost at home to Guinea-Bissau.

WHAT’S NEXT? Jordaan is still in office until 2026 and observers will be watching to see what changes he implements given the pressure coming from different quarters.

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