Sunday May 27, 2018. 12:00
Former South African international Matthew Booth believes his country’s ineffectiveness to take full advantage of the 2010 World Cup has resulted in them missing the global showpiece in 2014 & 2018.
The last time South Africa took part in the World Cup was in 2010 when they hosted and since then they have failed to qualify for the tournament because, as the former Bafana Bafana defender put it, ‘we’ve diluted the Bafana Bafana brand’.
We didn’t take advantage of hosting such a big event like the World Cup, said Booth.
“The euphoria that comes with staging such an event is marvellous and auspicious, but we didn’t make enough good use of it.
“The opportunity wasn’t used correctly, and perhaps it is why we haven’t qualified for a major tournament since then.
“Players have become comfortable playing at home because of good money and infrastructure, but at times these things do not matter without learning new tricks, culture, language and being trained with best coaches overseas.
“We’ve diluted the Bafana Bafana brand.”
Another former Bafana international and living legend, Lucas Radebe concurred with Booth.
“We deserve more in terms of grooming players and exporting into the top leagues, but that’s not happening because our players are too comfortable at home because of the money,” said Radebe.
“I keep telling them, forget the money, go out there and test your talent with the best, the money will look after itself because by that, and you will have better experience playing for your national team.”