Bafana on the spot

Published on 13/06/2009

By Robin Toskin In Pretoria

Bafana Bafana lacks players with the “spine” to deliver glory, their 1996 Africa Nations Cup finals two-goal hero Mark Williams has said.

The former Hellenic FC striker told FeverPitch on Saturday at the Holiday Inn Express in Pretoria that it would take South Africa a decade to produce players with quality and winning mentality similar to theirs.

“This team lacks players with strong backs, players who would die to get a result for South Africa. When we hear the players are threatening to go on strike over allowances on the eve of a major tournament you begin to question their commitment to the national cause,” Williams said.

South Africa plays Iraq tomorrow in the opening match of this year’s Fifa Confederations Cup.

Bafana Bafana have been savaged by the South African media for demanding they be paid an equivalent of Sh340million if they are to excel in the tournament that brings together continental and the world champions.

There has been a public outrage in South Africa and many fans including former Bafana Bafana player, Williams, have written off their chances of their country winning the tournament.

“I am saddened by the haggling over allowances at the expense of making fans happy by winning trophies. If these players win everybody would be willing to give them whatever they want, but not when they are not winning,” Williams said.

South Africa have failed to replicate their 1996 feat when they beat Tunisia 2-0 to lift the Africa Nations Cup on home soil.

One of their leading stars Blackburns’ Benni McCarthy has been banished by Brazilian coach Joel Santana accusing him of choosing matches to play in.

Recreativo Huelva defender Nasief Morris was also axed for what Santana said is “bad attitude.”

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