OPINION: Our battered Bafana needs you, now more than ever

The South African football fraternity has been down this road before, we all know where it ends and we know that it’s not where we want to be one week from now.

The South African football fraternity has been down this road before, we all know where it ends and we know that it’s not where we want to be one week from now.

The time has come for all stakeholders of South African football, including TKZee and Benni, to wind back the clocks and remind us what it was like to conquer the enemy in the face of adversity.

On Friday night, Senegal’s Lions of Teranga will be that enemy.

Yes, it is true. The Bafana Bafana squad might as well be running the Inga Rapids, without so much as a bamboo oar at the moment.

The players in the national squad resemble SANDF soldiers, lying wounded, arms torn off at the sockets, intestines spilling out onto the mud, while being picked at by scavenging vultures. That is what losing to Cape Verde TWICE does to you, apparently.

This is compounded by the fact that one of our foot soldiers, the ‘mighty’ Thulani Serero, has opted to flee the battlefield altogether. The bad news does not end there though, midfielder Hlompho Kekana is not available for service, while the presence of our ‘battlefield commander’, Itumeleng Khune, hangs in the balance.

It is easy to be despondent about the current circumstances, but this is not a time for fear. As Kobus Wiese would so eloquently put it, ‘n mens moet nou vasbyt!

National pride is at stake. Depending on how we deal with the adversity, we will either rise or fall as one. We would much rather make it to Russia 2018 though.

So, if Dr Tumi can fill up The Dome, then surely, surely the South African Football Association (SAFA) can fill up the Peter Mokaba Stadium. It must be packed to the rafters for Friday night’s crucial World Cup Qualification fixture. In fact, fans must be hanging from the rafters.

Which begs the question, why has SAFA not started giving tickets away already? Why have the ANC and EFF not offered their mass mobilisation services and arranged for buses which will ferry fans to sunny Polokwane?

Most importantly, why have the Bala brothers and Benni not been called out of musical retirement and back into the 18-area? We could all do with a song right now.

My fellow South Africans, it is our patriotic duty to get behind the national team this week.

The Senegal football side is one of considerable quality and Bafana Bafana might lose. As the mighty Sporo Mangena always reminds us, the ball is round.

However, if the national football team does lose, it would be better if it did so knowing that the entire country helped it throw the kitchen sink at Senegal.

By Siya Mchunu

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