Cameroonian football legend Samuel Eto’o expressed his confusion over the inconsistent performance of Bafana Bafana in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Samuel Eto’o Questions Bafana Bafana Performance
Eto’o, who is also the president of the Cameroon Football Federation, admitted during a visit to South Africa that he finds it puzzling why the team has not been able to replicate its success from the 1996 AFCON, where they claimed their first and only title on home soil.
Despite winning the tournament in 1996 and securing a runners-up finish in 1998, along with a bronze medal in the 2000 edition, Bafana Bafana has struggled to make a significant impact in subsequent AFCON editions. They reached the quarter-finals in 2013 and 2019 but failed to progress further, leaving many, including Eto’o, questioning the team’s underwhelming performances.
Eto’o emphasized his confusion, stating:
“I am baffled as to why Bafana Bafana (The Boys) have constantly underperformed at the Cup of Nations.”
He highlighted the well-organized and competitive nature of the South African league, which he considers one of the best in Africa. The disconnect between the strong domestic league and the national team’s performance seems inexplicable to Eto’o.
In his assessment, Eto’o called for football officials to strategize and elevate Bafana Bafana to a higher level, aiming to make them the best national team in Africa. He believes that given the strength of the national league, achieving this goal is feasible with careful planning and execution.
“The South African league is well organized and one of the best in Africa, so I do not understand why the national team is not that good,” Eto’o remarked, urging a comprehensive evaluation of the team’s structure and development.
As Bafana Bafana gears up for their opening match against Mali on Tuesday, Eto’o’s comments highlight the potential he sees in the South African national team. While acknowledging the challenges, he remains optimistic that with proper planning and concerted efforts, Bafana Bafana can rise to become a powerhouse in African football.