Lebogang Manyama is challenged by Senegal's Salif Sanel during their 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - Despite Bafana Bafana’s hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Fifa World Cup coming to an end with a 2-0 defeat to Senegal in Polokwane on Friday, the SA Football Association (Safa) have pointed to the progress made by South African junior teams on the world stage.  

South Africa last qualified for the 2002 Fifa World Cup, having gained automatic participation as hosts in 2010.

“We as an association have embarked on a number of initiatives to produce players that can compete with the best in the world and our establishment of Fun Valley as a National Technical Centre, the appointment of Technical Director, Neil Tovey and the achievements of our junior teams at international level, shows our positive intent,” said Safa in a statement on Saturday.

With their World Cup qualification dream over, Safa will now wait a report-back from coach Stuart Baxter.

“We are awaiting the finalisation of the World Cup campaign when Bafana Bafana play Senegal in Dakar on Tuesday  and will await for coach Stuart Baxter’s Technical Report on the analysis of the team’s performance, the technical staff and the immediate future plans for the team.

“We believe we have capable players to perform at the highest level as shown in recent convincing wins over Nigeria and Burkina Faso.

“Our junior national teams have been doing well and we want to continue our aggressive development projects to build national teams that can compete on the global stage.” 

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