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Bafana Bafana World Cup absence a bigger concern than PSL’s lack of representation – Malesela

13:05 GMT+4 28/11/2022
Dan Malesela Marumo Gallants FC.
Marumo Gallants’ Dan Malesela says South Africa's absence from the World Cup is more worrying than the PSL's lack of representation.
  • Bafana failed to grab a ticket to Qatar
  • Malesela says Bafana’s absence is worrying
  • Calls for PSL improvement

WHAT HAPPENED? Bafana’s dream to participate in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was ended by Ghana in November 2021 following a 1-0 defeat in the group stage.

The defeat came as a result of a controversial penalty awarded to Ghana and scored by Andre Ayew.

To Malesela, there is a need to improve the local competition in order to compete with the best in the world.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "That’s a worrying factor [the lack of Premier Soccer League representation], but the biggest worrying factor is that the national team is not and has not been (at a World Cup) for a while," Malesela said.

"That’s why we need to work hard to try and improve the standard of our players at home and the standard of our football. We are having arguably the biggest league on the continent, so we need to show even in World Cup stages and say we can compete.

"It shouldn’t be entertainment for local football but also entertainment for other countries. I get tired of being told 'let’s go watch a match involving Manchester City and Fulham'.

"We need to have people also say let’s go and watch South African football. It’s not something that is going to happen now, but we can push to get things better as long as we do things right."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Malesela’s sentiments come after Hugo Broos’ – the Bafana Bafana head coach – persistent criticism of the standard of the PSL.

The Belgian coach has always said the league has to improve in order to have a positive impact on national team players.

Recently, after games against Mozambique and Angola, Broos said his players could not compete at a higher level as the rhythm was much higher than the tempo of the PSL.

Most Bafana players are drawn from the local league.

Meanwhile, the PSL has no player participating in the ongoing competition in Qatar. Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Richard Ofori had a realistic chance of representing Ghana but was ruled out due to a late injury setback.

WHAT NEXT FOR BAFANA AND PSL? The 1996 Africa Cup of Nations champions’ focus is on the Afcon qualifying matches set to be played in March 2023.

The PSL is on a break and will resume late in December, after the World Cup ends.