Last night’s aggregate result at Lucas Moripe Stadium now leaves Orlando Pirates as the only club to have ever earned South Africa Champions League points that enable the country to enter two representatives in this competition according to the CAF 5-year ranking.
Pirates have also been the only South African club in the last 10 years of the Champions League good enough to at least reach the last 8 of Africa’s premier club competition.
The Bucs reached the semi-finals in 2006 and were losing finalists three years ago.
CAF gives points to associations whose clubs manage to at least reach the group stages of either the CAF Champions League or CAF Confederation Cup.
Is it good enough that just one PSL club has been able to reach the last 8 of the CAF club competitions from where points are earned for the CAF 5-year ranking which allows the top associations to enter two clubs in CAF club competitions?
Should Pirates be carrying the weight of the rest of the PSL on their backs?
You be the judge.
According to the CAF 5-year rankings, the points Pirates’ efforts in reaching the 2013 CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederation Cup last year are what still earns South Africa the privilege of entering two clubs in CAF competitions up to now.
Those points earned by Pirates will remain relevant until the 2021 CAF club competitions.
Since the Champions League was restructured in 1997, only Pirates (thrice 1997, 2006, 2013), Manning Rangers (1998), Sundowns (twice - 2000, 2001), SuperSport United (once – 2004), Ajax Cape Town (once – 2005) have at least managed to reach the last 8 of this competition – let alone win it.
Mediocre? Poor? Awful?
Be the judge.
In all honesty, is this a good enough end product for a league that prides itself as the richest on the continent, and a league that is able to import the best players from most sub-Saharan countries?
Since the CAF Confederation Cup was launched in 2004, only Santos (2004) and Sundowns (2007) have ever reached the group stages besides Pirates, who went as far as the final last year.
Last night the Brazilians got a feel of what American musician Brandy meant when she sang ‘Almost Doesn’t Count’.