“It’s not only infrastructure and money that takes you to the top”- Senzo Mazingisa on South African Football

South Africa celebrates 26 years of independence which corresponds to 26 years of freedom in football. In an exclusive chat with , South African born and Simba SC C.E.O, Mr Senzo Mazingisa throws more light on the development of football in South Africa with a tentative response on the contrast between its infrastructural development and poor results on the pitch. 

We are happy today to be celebrating the freedom day as South Africans.

“There’s been a lot of positives especially in sports. South Africa was excluded from international sports participation and since the freedom day, SA is now allowed to compete internationally, and we are excited about that.”

During the apartheid period marked by separation between blacks and whites, blacks were excluded from certain sports and have missed in a lot of sports developmental processes in the past and South Africa is still dealing with it through government intervention. Football has witnessed some progress

“When it comes to Football, we have made some progress but due to lack of focused development programs, we have failed to live up to the expectations.

But there’s also some improvements in the last 2 years or so as we have managed to see our Ladies teams, U17, U20 and U23 doing well in their respective competitions. Qualifications to the junior World Cups has also been encouraging.

South African independence is for All Africans

South African independence is for All Africans because most of the players are playing in PSL and other wealthy Divisions which have potential.

Also, this country has good memory for hosting FIFA World Cup in 2010, this for the first time in the history of Africa.

Asked why the Bafana Bafana are not occupying top positions in African football,  Senzo recognizes it takes more than economic power to get to the top.

It’s not only infrastructure and money that takes you to the top.

“If your development system and some assistance you have in place are not aligned towards what you want to achieve, it would be problematic.
It’s like giving a child all the toys but still doesn’t do well in class. That means the training must be different; We need to improve on how we did with our development structure; We need to improve on communication between coaches, players and the football system in the country. So, it’s a matter of alignment. We just need to align few things and I’m sure that we are able to improve.

The competition also has been very tough. It’s not only South Africa that has got the best. Other countries have been coming up and taking football very seriously so it’s not a one sided approach to say we have the infrastructure.

No! We need to still work hard and make sure our systems are intact, and we can talk to each other in terms of the coaches, the players and what we want to achieve as a nation.
Yes, We’ve got the infrastructure, our league is very strong, our clubs are doing well, we just need to improve on our Bafana Bafana 11″

The 2019 performance of the Bafana Bafana has given hope to the entire nation, ending the tournament at the 1/4 finals after haven shocked host Egypt in the round of 16.

By Gharib Mzinga


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