Africa puts best foot forward

Last night, the curtain fell on what has been a truly memorable Africa Cup of Nations finals. Television screens will be much poorer without the odds-defying performances from Cote d'Ivoire.

The action has been exhilarating, the attendance, impressive while the officiating even drew praises from respected gaffer, Jose Mourinho. It will be interesting to find out the crowd that watched last night’s final between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. Since day one, the tournament has become infectious such that the living rooms will be a lonely place with the action now behind us. The upsets and the super saves, including the heroics of one Ronwen Williams from across the border, will live long in most people’s memories. The majority of southern African fans were understandably rooting for South Africa’s Bafana Bafana and the team did not disappoint. Largely made up of locally based players, Mzansi was not given much chance to progress further in a competition that attracted Africa’s finest talent from overseas.

But Bafana Bafana defied the odds and will touch down at the OR Tambo airport with a bronze medal, their best showing in 24 years. Hugo Broos built his team around an impressive array of talent drawn from dominant local champions, Mamelodi Sundowns. Abafana Ba Style, as Sundowns are affectionately known, have been the model force on the domestic and continental front. They have been to the FIFA World Club Cup and have been the standout side in the CAF Champions League. This run has been beneficial to the national team, with Broos admitting that his job was made much easier by the inclusion of the majority of Sundowns players. One would be forgiven to let their mind wander and imagine if the same can be replicated within the Zebras set-up. National team call-ups should be based on merit and also reflect the dominant forces on the domestic scene.

Editor's Comment
Our queen: Bring home the crown

Well-wishers gathered at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport to bid our queen farewell and wish her success as she joins other beauties from around the globe for the coveted crown. Competing in such events is nerve-wracking, and one needs to be fully prepared to stand a chance of making it as a finalist.It is not just about physical fitness; mental state matters too. Unfortunately, sometimes our queens end up facing such fierce...

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