Danny Jordaan: Bafana Bafana need to maintain focus, momentum for AFCON and 2026 World Cup qualifying

Danny Jordaan wants Bafana Bafana to only improve on the positive trajectory they are on. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Danny Jordaan wants Bafana Bafana to only improve on the positive trajectory they are on. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Mar 31, 2023


Cape Town - Danny Jordaan, president of the South African Football Association (SAFA), has urged Bafana Bafana to maintain a winning momentum so that the team progresses from next year's AFCON to the 2026 World Cup qualifying.

AFCON starts in January in the Ivory Coast, and by this time, Bafana Bafana along with Ivory Coast (qualified as hosts), Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal and Algeria, the defending champions.

Bafana Bafana secured their AFCON ticket after defeating hosts Liberia 2-1 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia on Tuesday evening,

Jordaan said a strong campaign in Ivory Coast would be morale-boosting because straight after the AFCON showpiece, the draw for the 2026 World Cup qualifying will be done.

"As one of the 24 teams at AFCON in Ivory Coast, we need to make sure we come out tops," said Jordaan at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Wednesday night. He was joined by hundreds of fans to welcome the victorious Bafana Bafana back from Liberia.

"From now until then (AFCON in Ivory Coast), we need to focus and keep a winning momentum so it continues into the World Cup qualifying.

"Africa will have nine places at the 2026 World Cup which will be jointly hosted by 16 cities in three North American countries: Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America. This will be an expanded 48-team 2026 World Cup, and it offers Africa four more slots than was the case in Qatar."

Jordaan was touched by the crowd that was at hand in Johannesburg when the team returned from Liberia.

"It was wonderful to see all the fans, including Mama Joy and Saddam (Maake) because they walked this journey with Bafana Bafana from the Orlando Stadium on Friday night," said Jordaan.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Jubilant Mama Joy and Saddam among the crowd welcoming back victorious Bafana Bafana

"They left Soweto disappointed, but they knew there was a challenge. These fans believed in the team as much as they believed in these young players.

"They (the fans) came here tonight to show their appreciation for the hard work and the fight the team demonstrated to secure a place in the African Cup of Nations in the Ivory Coast next January."

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On Thursday afternoon ,the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced that AFCON will kick off on Saturday, 13 January 2024, at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpe, Abidjan.

This will be the second time that Ivory Coast will host AFCON. They made their AFCON host debut in 1984, when Cameroon emerged as winners for the first time.

The final for the 34th edition of the tournament will be played on Sunday, 11 February 2024.

CAF General Secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba has confirmed that the ceremony for the Final Draw of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations 2023 Cote d’Ivoire will be held in September 2023.

The date and venue will be confirmed at a later stage.