By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
THE DARK cloud is hanging over the South African Sports fraternity after the country’s top teams, Bafana Bafana and the Springboks failed to make an impact on the continental and world stages.
Bafana failed to qualify for the forthcoming 2012 Africa Cup of Nations to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea respectively while the Springbok were dejected out of the 2011 IRB World Cup on process in New Zealand after they narrowly lost 11-9 to Australia this morning.
The Springbok were the defending champions of the IRB World Cup after having lifted the title back in 2007 and their hopes to make it three times came crushing when Australia overpowered them, crushing coach, Peter de Villiers’s hopes emulating Jacky White who guided the team to lift the title four years ago.
Back to football, Bafana have lost their plot to book their ticket in the AFCON after Niger were declared winners despite finishing on top of Group G.
Niger and Sierra Leone and South Africa have all finished tied on 9 points each, with Egypt bottom of the group with 5 points. In such a case, when two or more teams are equal on points, article 14 of the competition regulations applies as follows:
In case of equality of points between two or more teams, after all the group matches, the ranking of the teams shall be established according to the following criteria:
14.1 Greater number of points obtained in the matches between the concernedteams;
14.2. Best goal difference in the matches between the concerned teams;
14.3. Greater number of goals scored in the group matches between the concerned teams;
14.4. Greater number of away goals scored in the direct matches between the concerned teams;
14.5. Goal difference in all the group matches;
14.6. Greatest number of goals scored in all the group matches;
14.7. A drawing of lots by the Organising Committee of CAF.
Therefore, in application of rule 14.1 CAF has considered only results of matches between the concerned teams, i.e. Niger, South Africa and Sierra Leone (discounting Egypt as the bottom team with 5 points – hence not concerned anymore), resulting in the following ranking based on 4 matches played by each teams concerned:
– Niger: 6 points
– South Africa : 5 points
– Sierra Leone : 5 points.
Niger is therefore qualified to the final phase. Additional report by Caf.com