The FIFA Football World Cup 2010 is here and the spotlights are on South Africa! Let’s take a closer look at the host nation and their chances this season.
The South Africa national football team, also known as Bafana Bafana is controlled by the South African Football Association. They made a comeback at the international football scenarios in 1992 after being banned from FIFA and is the host for the 19th FIFA world Cup this June. With this, the Rainbow Nation becomes the only African country to have ever hosted the event.
Bafana Bafana past record has not been impressive. Having qualified only twice for the tournament, the team could make it beyond the first round either time. Their first appearance after the ban was uplifted, came against France in 1998 where they were thrashed 3-0. They registered their first victory in 2002 after beating Slovenia 1-0.
Although the performances in the last few years haven’t been as consistent, the team poses a considerable threat and the home turf only adds to their advantage. In the light of their terrific performance at the FIFA Confederations Cup in June 2009, where the team suffered narrow defeats against Brazil in semis and Spain in the third-place play off, other teams too would not be taking South Africa lightly.
By the virtue of being the host country automatically qualified them for the World Cup. Their hopes are pinned up on their star midfielder Steven Pienaar after his motivating performance in the FIFA Confederations Cup last year. South Africa’s star player and inarguably one of the most successful striker, Benni McCarthy is out though and it could slightly deter their chances on their home soil. South Africa’s coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira’s second stint is also expected to motivate the team for a better performance in front of the home crowd.