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Indifference returns to South African soccer

  • Reuters, Monday, June 4, 2012 2:25 PM

World Cup action returned to South Africa as the Bafana Bafana opened their 2014 qualifying campaign with a 1-1 tie with Ethiopia in Rustenburg. But the enthusiasm that swept South Africa two years ago at the World Cup is long gone. Only 5,000 fans bothered to watch the South Africa-Ethiopia game at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Rustenburg, which two years ago was filled with crowds of more than 30,000 for World Cup matches.

"The poor crowds are tied to our performances," South African Football Association chief executive officer Robin Petersen told Reuters. "We have to turn that around and we have six months in which to do so,"

Much of the criticism has been leveled at Coach Pitso Mosimane. He was lucky to keep his job after South Africa failed to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations. It failed in part because Mosimane failed to read the qualifying procedure and thought South Africa was headed to the finals on goal difference as the tiebreaker when it actually needed to win as head-to-head record was the tiebreaker.

Such details won't be a problem for the next tournament. South Africa will host the 2013 African Cup of Nations.

Read the whole story at Reuters »

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