Ntokozo Gumede
Football Writer
3 minute read
8 Jan 2022
10:23 am

OPINION: Many Bafana fans will be cheering if Ghana are dumped out of Afcon

Ntokozo Gumede

There is no love lost after South Africa and Ghana's World Cup row.

Andre Ayew (r) celebrates after his dubious penalty qualified Ghana for the World Cup play-offs. Picture: Thabang Lepule/Backpagepix.

On Friday morning, a pundit from the Ghana football fraternity took to Twitter to have a go at Bafana Bafana supporters who were seemingly celebrating the Black Stars’ defeat at the hands of defending Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) champions, Algeria.

ALSO READ: Six stars to watch at the Cup of Nations

The Desert Lions thumped Ghana 3-0 in a friendly game that was staged as a final preparation match for both teams ahead of the continental showpiece in Cameroon.

The Afcon kicks off tomorrow and as you know, South Africa are not part of it, after failing to qualify under former head coach Molefi Ntseki.

The above-mentioned tweet went something like: ‘I don’t understand why Bafana fans are celebrating that we (Ghana) lost to Algeria while they have failed to qualify for the Afcon. Ghana is in the competition and we (Ghana) are in the last round of qualifiers for the upcoming Fifa World Cup. South Africa is a joke, maybe they should stick to rugby.’

I must say, those sentiments really did hit home. I mean, the local league is basically paused until after the tournament, leaving some idle until mid-February when the DStv Premiership resumes.

We can give thanks to the bright minds at the Premier Soccer League who came up with the stop-gap tournament – the DStv Compact Cup – that is a one of a kind blend of select players from the 16 teams in the top-flight, along with a mix of technical teams. As to how this idea is going to pan out, it remains to be seen.

We can argue that losing out on a potential trip to Qatar later this year was not down to the lack of our football capabilities, given how – dare I say – Bafana were robbed in both ties against Ghana. The first saw a legitimate Percy Tau goal ruled out because of a wrong offside call, and the second match saw poor officiating. The matter of the officiating was escalated to Fifa by the South African Football Association, but still resulted in an unfavorable outcome for Bafana.

At the end of the day, Bafana are not in Cameroon and that sucks. Come December, we will have to watch other nations battle it out in the Middle East and if Ghana do qualify, you can forget about the 2010 bromance where South Africa threw its weight in support of the Black Stars, going as far as coining a nickname for them – BaGhana BaGhana – this was borrowed, of course, from Bafana.

The tension between the two nations is almost tangible and for one who is as patriotic as one can be, I cannot hide that it would be quite satisfying to see Ghana bombing out of the group stages in Cameroon.

But what are the odds of that happening, seeing that they are in a group where Morocco are the only real threat on paper – Comoros and Gabon should be easy customers for the Black Stars. Anyway, we remain prisoners of hope and appeal to the footballing gods to do justice for Bafana. Ghana also had a hand in us not qualifying for Afcon. Ghana and Bafana are sworn enemies, and it would be sweet to get revenge from the comfort of our couches.