South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan has largely played down putting comparisons between the achievements of the Springboks and the men’s senior national football team alleging that Bafana Bafana’s path to global dominance is more strenous than that of the Springboks.
The juxtaposition of the two national teams comes straight in the wake of the Springboks third and record equalling Rugby World Cup victory over England 32-12 in the final in Japan.
“No – let us be realistic. How do you qualify for the World Cup for Rugby? You play. And if you play you are in. The Springboks are in the World Cup because they play‚ There’s no qualification [for them].” Jordaan said.
“And then you play home and away and the 10 is reduced to five who go to the World Cup. So it is five out of 54 teams who qualify [from Africa] in football. In rugby it’s one out of one – you must qualify.”
“In the World Cup for football there are 211 countries. Five go from 54 in Africa‚ in Asia four from 47. And that is just the nature of the sport. The one truly global sport is football.” added Jordaan obviously trying to justify Bafana Bafana failure to dominate global football.
Rugby is played globally by about six million people both professionally and recreationally with approximately 2‚5 million registered players.
Football‚ according to FIFA‚ has 265 million players, that is 44 times more players playing football than rugby on a global scale.
By Gerald Dandah