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Ten years since the World Cup: Benni says Bafana and Safa ‘have gone completely backwards’

08 June 2020 - 12:03 By Marc Strydom
Former Cape Town City head coach Benni McCarthy.
Former Cape Town City head coach Benni McCarthy.
Image: Ryan WilkiskyBackpagePix

Benni McCarthy has slammed the SA Football Association (Safa) for having failed to capitalise on the legacy of South Africa hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Thursday marks 10 years since the World Cup kicked off with Bafana Bafana’s 1-1 draw against Mexico at Soccer City on June 11 2010.

Bafana’s all-time top scorer McCarthy was scathing in his appraisal of the legacy provided by Safa after hosting the global showpiece.

“I’m very disappointed at how we didn’t capitalise on what the country had‚” the ex-Cape Town City coach said.

“And where we could have gone from hosting the 2010 World Cup. And putting ourselves on a level‚ I’m not saying near to the likes of Brazil‚ Germany‚ Spain‚ or England‚ and how they [England] have strived and become better as the years have gone by.

“And we have inherited all the stadiums and facilities‚ but we still achieved absolutely nothing‚ except for the PSL.

“The PSL has made strides and made amazing steps forward in becoming a better league and definitely the best league in Africa.

“You see a change in the PSL‚ but when it comes to the national team‚ Safa‚ we’ve just gone completely backwards.

“And that really is just saddening to know that all the money that was spent‚ and all the money that was made‚ every time when you hear about Safa they talk about bankruptcy. Like there’s not money‚ there’s not this‚ there’s not that.

“And that is … it is heartbreaking.”

McCarthy‚ the only South African to have won the Uefa Champions League with FC Porto‚ also played for Seven Stars‚ Ajax Amsterdam‚ Celta Vigo‚ Blackburn Rovers‚ West Ham United and Orlando Pirates.

He missed out on representing Bafana at the 2010 World Cup when‚ with question marks over his fitness‚ he was axed from the squad by coach Carlos Alberto Parreira for disciplinary reasons.