"South African Football Has Lost Its Identity" - Former Bafana Bafana Maestro Thabo Mngomeni

"South African Football Has Lost Its Identity" - Former Bafana Bafana Maestro Thabo Mngomeni

Keba Mothoagae
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:00 PM
  • South African legend Thabo Mngomeni is of the belief that the country's football fraternity has lost its identity
  • The former Bafana Bafana, Umtata Bushbucks and Orlando Pirates midfield wizard said this was evident in the 0-5 capitulation by South Africa against France recently
  • Mngomeni also said that players from his generation would enter a field against more illustrious opponents with no fear

Former midfield general Thabo Mngomeni has stated that South African football as a whole has lost its identity.

Mngomeni was speaking in response to Bafana Bafana's shameful 0-5 defeat by France recently, after which Bafana players were seen asking for selfies with some of the French players; an insult to injury.

Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Thabo Mngomeni says South African football can't copy everything from abroad. Image source: iDiski Times website
Source: Twitter

The former Bafana, Umtata Bushbucks and Orlando Pirates maestro pointed to this humiliating capitulation as something that supported his assertion. Mngomeni was speaking to iDiski Times in a wide-ranging interview.

He pointed to a match against the then-world and European champions France at Ellis Park in October 2000; a match which ended 0-0 in reference to how far standards had fallen. That match will also be remembered for Mngomeni's back-heeled nutmeg of Les Bleus legend Marcel Desailly.

In a squad that boasted greats like Benni McCarthy, Shaun Bartlett, Bradley Carnell, Mark Fish, Sibusiso Zuma, Quinton Fortune and Delron Buckley, among others, Mngomeni said that they did not fear any opponent.

He stated:

“Definitely when you enter the pitch, it was like you were another person.”

Mngomeni added local football coaches and players were trying to replicate what they were seeing abroad, instead of sticking to their strengths.

He mused:

“And the thing is, we are learning the way that they are doing things. How are we going to beat them with their own way of doing things?"

Importantly, Mngomeni did add that acknowledging the advancement in football and coaching methods around the world was important. However, he still felt that these methods should be adapted to fit the local player.

The full interview can be found here.

"Star struck influencers": Bafana players criticized for selfies with French players after 5:0 humiliation

As reported Sports Brief, Bafana Bafana players were ripped into by a former player as well as countless supporters after asking for selfies with French players following their humiliating 5-0 loss on Tuesday night.

Former Bafana Bafana captain and defender Aaron Mokoena - the most capped men's international player in South African history - led the chorus of angered locals who were displeased with what they said after the match.

Keba Mothoagae photo
Keba Mothoagae
Editor- Local Desk
South Africa