South Africa (Bafana Bafana) Need To Improve
Stadiums, houses, roads and office blocks may be under construction, but 2010 FIFA World Cup™ hosts South Africa also need a competitive national team and Bafana Bafana still have a long way to go, as the recent Africa Cup of Nations proved.
South Africa is starting to resemble a giant construction site. Not only are all nine venues for the 2010 FIFA World Cup”* now being built or renovated but the economic boom means that houses, roads and office blocks are continuing to pop up at a frenetic pace all across the country. The din of jack hammers competes with the dust and racket of the cement mixers and dump trucks.
The decision to award the 2010 FIFA World Cup’” to South Africa gave the country a great deal of confidence, and that, coupled with the ever-decreasing inequalities after decades of apartheid, has led to a massive explosion in infrastructure. But the construction project at the centre of attention is not a physical structure, it is the team that South Africa are putting together for the tournament, which is now just over two years away. The desire to build a team that can be competitive at the 2010 World Cup’” is uppermost in the national psyche.
South Africa is well aware of the importance of being able to compete, of getting past the first round and ensuring there is an ambiance of local fervour pervading the event. The lessons of Germany are all too evident. At the moment, the parallels are also stark. The German side did not exactly fill their fans with confidence in the two-year period leading up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ finals and the same is now true of the South African side.
Germany stumbled through their 2006 FIFA World Cup™ build-up and the pressure on coach Jurgen Klinsmann was enormous. There was little public confidence in the ability of his team to achieve at their own tournament, yet, in the end, their dramatic run to the semi¬finals turned the entire event into a giant carnival.