Sundowns saved Safa from embarrassment at Afcon, says former player

“We wouldn’t have reached this stage of the competition (Afcon),” said Mabaso.

Former AmaZulu FC midfielder Thabo Mabaso has hailed Mamelodi Sundowns, saying the club saved South African Football (Safa) from embarrassment at the Caf Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Ivory Coast.

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Mabaso believes the work that is being done at Sundowns from the development structures to the senior team is key to having a successful national team, which helped Bafana reach the semi-final of the Afcon, where they lost to Nigeria on penalties.

Sundowns have 11 players in the Bafana squad and seven of them started the games for Bafana.

“Thank you Sundowns for implementing proper structures at Chloorkop and saving the mother body (Safa) from embarrassment, without your work, we wouldn’t have reached this stage of the competition (Afcon). Another shortcut from mother body exposed! (sic),” Mabaso wrote on his Facebook account.

“I still maintain as long as kids are still neglected, we are going nowhere fast 25 years without football glory but the abundance of talent because development from an early age is neglected. Thanks, Makgopa (Evidence) and Yaya (Sphephelo Sithole) and their respective teams. Football teams are built not cut and paste.(sic)

“The only team that masters cut and paste is Real Madrid and they have been doing it for centuries. Let’s start from Under-6 to identify players, groom and build them, and mold them to be a team. Let’s see more of juniors structured football (leagues), properly organised leagues for juniors, and more coaching education for the less fortunate and underprivileged. Because they are the ones who groom these players from an early age, but they are not recognised instead we want to take money out of their pockets (sic).”

The former Usuthu midfielder added it was a wise move from Bafana coach Hugo to fill his squad with Downs players.

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“Clever decision Mr. Broos to save face by taking the whole Sundowns 11 or else you were going to take the blame for the mess created by the mother-body, my opinion. (sic)”