Safa face the sombre realisation that the tournament, which starts in Cape Town on Saturday, offers little chance for the country to improve its lowly 62nd world ranking.
Fifa has confirmed that the tournament – in which only home-based players are eligible – is not recognised by the world body and ranking points awarded will be based on games being regarded as friendly internationals. This applies to all Bafana’s fixtures. In other words even if Bafana wins the tournament the 62nd world ranking will remain relatively unchanged.
But worse still, the Fifa ranking system leaves Bafana precariously placed and pursuing what is tantamount to a hiding, with failure in CHAN resulting in a further slide down the ladder.
Any defeat suffered by Bafana in the tournament will result in no ranking points being awarded for the fixture – bringing down the percentage of points for games over the stipulated period of four years even further.
Bafana’s prospects of securing points in CHAN are also diluted by the fact that most of the nations participating are modestly placed in the ranking process – and points earned are dependant on the strength of the opposition.
The best scenario open to Bafana is to win the tournament and beat Ghana, at 24th the highest ranked side, somewhere along the way.
But ironically, even this eventuality would gain only a marginal improvement to Bafana’s ranking.
However, Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says it remains vital to cement a winning culture in CHAN, provide valuable experience in team-building and gain the measure of prestige in Africa that success will achieve.
Also, the recently elected regime at Safa under Danny Jordaan want the tournament to boost its credibility with a success on home soil.
Bafana open the tournament against Mozambique on Saturday at 6pm, with the other teams in the group, Nigeria and Mali, completing a double header programme at 8pm.
Other fixtures: Group A
11/01/14 Mali vs Nigeria
15/01/14 South Africa vs Mali
15/01/14 Nigeria vs Mozambique
19/01/14 Nigeria vs South Africa
19/01/14 Mozambique vs Mali
12/01/14 Zimbabwe vs Morocco
12/01/14 Uganda vs Burkina Faso
16/01/14 Zimbabwe vs Uganda
16/01/14 Burkina Faso vs Morocco
20/01/14 Morocco vs Uganda
20/01/14 Burkina Faso vs Zimbabwe
13/01/14 Ghana vs Congo
13/01/14 Libya vs Ethiopia
17/01/14 Ghana vs Libya
17/01/14 Ethiopia vs Congo
21/01/14 Ethiopia vs Ghana
21/01/14 Congo vs Libya
14/01/14 DR Congo vs Mauritania
14/01/14 Gabon vs Burundi
18/01/14 DR Congo vs Gabon
18/01/14 Burundi vs Mauritania
22/01/14 Burundi vs DR Congo
22/01/14 Mauritania vs Gabon
Games will be played at the following cities Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Polokwane, respectively.