Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has come out in support of under-fire Bafana Bafana and its coach Gordon Igesund, SAfm reported on Tuesday.
“We're well aware that some people are criticising the way the national team played against Nigeria. Some want the team disbanded. It has improved greatly and needs our support.
“The current coach knows what he's doing. He's great at his job. The fact that the team lost, that doesn't mean anything as other teams lost as well,” the president told SAfm in isiZulu.
The interview was translated into English by the public broadcaster.
Zuma was speaking after Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula on Monday called Bafana Bafana a “bunch of losers” after losing to Nigeria in the 2014 African Nations Championship.
“What I saw was not a problem of coaching, it was a bunch of losers,” Mbalula told journalists in Cape Town on Monday.
“Their performance was not even lacklustre, it was useless. We must go to the drawing board. That mediocrity that was displayed… we must never wake up to that again.”
The host side crashed out of the tournament following a heavy 3-1 defeat against Nigeria in their final group A clash at Cape Town Stadium on Sunday evening, stumbling at the first hurdle and failing to make it out of the group stage. - Sapa