Attendance Woes for Bafana Matches
Despite Bafana Bafana’s impressive unbeaten run of eleven games, they continue to struggle with poor attendance at their matches.
The South African Football Association (SAFA) has grappled with this issue, even offering tickets at a mere R20, but fans appear disinterested in watching the South African national soccer team in action.
Contrasting Support for the Springboks
In contrast, when the Springboks play at home, stadiums are consistently filled to capacity.
Even those who are not ardent rugby fans willingly purchase tickets priced between R600 to R800 to watch the Boks play, knowing that the team will deliver a spirited performance and entertain the crowd.
Decline in Support Since 2010 World Cup
Bafana’s support has witnessed a significant decline since the 2010 World Cup. The team has failed to qualify for three consecutive World Cup tournaments and has also seen a drop in FIFA rankings.
While under the management of Hugo Broos, Bafana has shown some improvement, they still face challenges in overcoming teams like Eswatini and Namibia.
Unbeaten Streak, but a History of Struggles
While Bafana’s unbeaten streak stretches back to their last defeat against Morocco in Rabat in June 2022, it’s important to note their 5-0 loss to France three months prior.
The team has faced numerous embarrassing moments and, understandably, it will take more than 10-15 unbeaten games to win back the fans.
Issues with Bafana’s Style of Play
Bafana’s style of play has often been criticized as unattractive and lacking direction.
The team appears comfortable on the ball during most matches but consistently falls short in terms of end product, goals, and victories, which contributes to fans staying away from the stadiums.
A Long Road to Regain Support
SAFA may only succeed in bringing fans back to the stadium if Bafana reaches the semi-finals of the upcoming African Cup of Nations.
However, that alone may not suffice, as fans are eager to see the national team make a return to the FIFA World Cup.
Despite their unbeaten streak, Bafana Bafana faces the challenge of rebuilding their fan base, which has dwindled over the years due to a lack of success, unattractive play, and unmet expectations.
Winning back the support of South African soccer enthusiasts will require more than just a series of unbeaten games, and a strong showing in international competitions is essential.