NOW that the jaw-dropping 2023 Afcon spectacle has come to an end, surprising of course, its now back to the real deal.
Surprise because all top dogs of the tournament were eliminated and under-dogs prevailed.
Last night saw host Ivory Coast beating Nigeria 2-1 to win the gold plated title, were the packed to rafters stadium was painted in orange.
The powerhouses like Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal who did not defend their title, fell aside, surprisingly.
On Bafana Bafana, they got bronze after outsmarting DR Congo 1-0 on Saturday evening and seal third place at an AFCON for the first time in 24 years.
Captain Ronwen Williams won the Golden Glove, given to the goalkeeper of the tournament, while Bafana Bafana also won the Fair Play Award.
For reaching semi-finals and getting bronze, it means the team secured a prize of $2 500 000 (R46.9 million).
According to a new report by City Press, as shared by Unplayable, Bafana players will share 50% of the prize (R23,45 million).
This means that the 23 players will take home about R1 million each.
Yes, its time to smile all the way to the bank and build from here onwards.
As reported in previous article, coach Hugo Broos is staying with the team.
Having to endure negativity, critics and pressure from both ends, the Belgian will remain with Bafana beyond 2026, this was confirmed by SAFA boss Dr Danny Jordaan.
“But there is a lot of things going right now; why should I stop? I like my job; I like football,” Broos told media in Ivory Coast.
“So, we will see what the future brings, but I think it’s totally normal that after the career of 36 years as a coach and 18 years of professional football. Little by little, you start thinking about the end of your career,” he was quoted.
Jordaan says on Broos, he should build on the Afcon 2023 semi-finals, despite the frustrations he felt towards the low support from the Premier Soccer League.
“He’s [been] very frustrated [with] the many unfair criticism against him. I have a meeting with him after the match on Saturday, and we want to encourage him to keep on building the team,” said Jordaan, as quoted by SABC Sport.
“I think we must all support him because we can see what he has put together.
“If you look at what he has done – before he came, we had a national team consisting of players who started, the likes of Itumeleng Khune, Thulani Hlatshwayo, [Bongani] Zungu, Kamohelo [Mokotjo], Kermit Erasmus, and so on,” Jordaan added.
“When he came, his first [squad] announcement, none of those players were in and, of course, the people of our country were shocked.
“But absolutely, we want him to stay on. We have to fix the issues between him and the PSL. I mean, it’s unheard of where a national team coach is put out of a match [Broos’ highly publicised ejection from Orlando Stadium],” the Safa president concluded.
The PSL will now resume with its league programme this weekend when Bucs visit Downs at Loftus Stadium on Saturday.
Image (Well done, Son. CAF President and former Downs boss Dr Patrice Motsepe embracing Ronwen Williams last night at 2023 AFCON presentation).