Euro 2008 co-hosts Switzerland and Austria were ill-equipped to compete with Europe's best teams and were deservedly dumped out in the first round. It's continuing to look as though 2010 World Cup host South Africa will suffer the same fate.
South Africa will not participate in the next African Nations' Cup, due to take place six months before the World Cup, after it was held at home, 0-, by Sierra Leone Saturday. Having won just one of its four opening group games, it is eight points behind group winner Nigeria, and so will miss out on vital competitive preparation games in the run-up to the World Cup.
"Sierra Leone goalkeeper Christian Caulker proved the hero with a series of saves, but South Africa's strikers also squandered a host of chances with wayward shooting," says the report. The games are doubling up as World Cup and ANC qualifiers, which is why South Africa is participating.