'Bafana expected to qualify for 2021'


SAFA president Danny Jordaan has weighed in on Bafana Bafana's 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign, insisting that Stuart Baxter's men have no excuse in their bid to qualify for the next continental showpiece.

Last week, CAF revealed the five pots for the group draw of the 2021 AFCON tournament, which is set to take place in Cameroon.

READ: Bafana make Pot 2 for AFCON 2021

Bafana were placed in Pot Two alongside Benin, Cape Verde, Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Libya, Mauritania, Niger, Uganda and Zambia.

With the draw being conducted last Thursday evening in Cairo, Egypt, South Africa were drawn in Group C alongside Ghana, Sudan and the winner of a play-off between Mauritius and Sao Tome e Principe.

Jordaan, who was recently appointed as the third vice-president of CAF, has insisted he expects Bafana to book their spot in the next edition of the AFCON tournament.

"I would expect us to qualify," Jordaan said, as per Times Live. "I think that we can qualify. There is no reason for us not to.

"What the issue is, is if we will end up on top or second. That is what we have to deal with, with Ghana.

"I think that we have the team. We have to see. But this tournament also showed that there are no easy matches on the African continent any more. There is no small nation in the continent any more.

"Benin came with the perception that they are a small country. They walked away as one of the major forces on the African continent, and so did Guinea.

"Who would have dreamt that Madagascar could face stiff challenges and reach the quarter-finals? The notion, when you look at the group, that there are small and big teams, that's out of the question. We have to work hard and we have to be here again."

Bafana enjoyed a bittersweet 2019 Afcon campaign, securing a memorable victory over the host nation en route to being eliminated from the quarter-finals of the tournament at the hands of Nigeria.

Jordaan further suggested that South Africa should be vying for continental honours following their showing in Egypt, highlighting the number of players who have progressed through the various junior national teams.

"We have made our mark here; we must be back. We can bring a stronger, better team because we do have the players," he added.

"We are in a position now where, as South Africa, we are able to put together a team, not just for today and tomorrow, but also for the sustainable future.

"If you look at the team that played in this Afcon, some of the best performers are also the youngest. (Lebohang) Maboe is an excellent player, so are [Thembinkosi] Lorch and Percy Tau.

"If you look at all the players we have, including those who are in Europe, U17, U20 and U23, we are able to put together a team that can compete."