Sibusiso Zuma backs Bafana Bafana to shine at AFCON 2024

Sibusiso Zuma backs Bafana Bafana to shine at AFCON 2024

South African football icon Sibusiso Zuma believes Bafana Bafana will emerge as the dark horse of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast.

The competition, which will take place in West Africa from January 13 to February 11, has Bafana in Group E alongside Mali, Namibia, and Tunisia.

Despite widespread expectations that traditional powerhouses such as Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, and Senegal will dominate the continental spectacle, the ex-Orlando Pirates striker warns the African football community not to underestimate Bafana’s potential. 

“Bafana has the potential to catch many teams off guard, especially with the current players in action. They can compete with and unsettle formidable nations if they harness their ability,” said Zuma in his interview with the national broadcaster.

“It all boils down to motivation and instilling the belief that they are talented players upon whom the nation depends. Consistent motivation is crucial for the younger players, and I believe they can hold their own in competition. We witness Sundowns excelling on the African continent, securing victories against prominent clubs like Al Ahly and Wydad,” he continued. 

“We possess players capable of competing at a high level, as demonstrated by the impressive performances of Sundowns players. I believe Bafana has the potential to confront any team and emerge victorious in the knockout stages. 

“Our Premier Soccer League is of high quality, and the players are evolving, displaying a growing hunger for success, as exemplified by Sundowns ’achievements in Africa,” elaborated Zuma.

The ex-FC Copenhagen striker, aged 48, emphasised Bafana entered the biennial tournament with nothing to lose. He envisions them making a strong push in the competition, which features a total of 24 teams.