The FIFA 2026 World Cup qualifiers kick off this weekend, with several countries, including Bafana Bafana, jostling for places at the next tournament.
The South African side failed to make it to the Qatar tournament won by Argentina and hopes that they will pick up the ticket from Group C.
Bafana Bafana has a path laid with thorns as they challenge for a place at the 2022 World Cup.
They have their hands loaded in Group C with the Super Eagles of Nigeria, the Squirrels of Benin and Likuena (Crocodiles) of Lesotho as their challengers.
Ahead of their tie against the Squirrels of Benin this weekend, the SAFA boss, Ms Lydia Monyepao, has a message for Bafana Bafana fans as they chase their first three points of the campaign.
The embattled South African side hope for a solid start to the campaign.
— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) November 15, 2023
SAFA boss calls for Bafana Bafana support
While the Bafana Bafana were preparing for their FIFA World Cup qualifying game against Benin, the SAFA boss was at their training facility to ginger the boss to victory on Saturday.
She spoke to the press and sent a passionate message to Bafana Bafana fans, calling on them to support the team to victory.
Speaking at the Bafana Bafana training session, Ms Monyepao said, “I’m here to show support for our boys. They will be playing in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Benin.”
She called on the fans to come out and support the team to victory.
“Please come out and support our boys the same way we are doing. SAFA supports them, we’re fully behind them.” she concluded.
The call for the Bafana Bafana support came due to almost empty stadiums when the South African national team plays.
The Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban will host the game. It is the first time in a while the team will play their home game outside of Johannesburg.
Bafana Bafana played their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at the FNB and Orlando Stadium.
South Africa played their World Cup qualifying matches at the FNB Stadium.
3 PM local time is the kickoff time amid calls for a late kickoff.
Guys, don't say we didn't tell you
— Thomas Mlambo (@thomasmlambo) November 14, 2023
How Bafana Bafana missed the last World Cup
South Africa appeared at the FIFA World Cup last in 2010 when they hosted it. The team has had a torrid time qualifying for the apex international football tournament.
At the last qualification, they missed out to the Black Stars of Ghana despite finishing with the same points as the West African nation.
Bafana Bafana won all their home games by a 1-0 margin. They beat 3-1 and drew away to Zimbabwe. However, their undoing was the 1-0 loss to Ghana in their final group game.
A draw would have seen them top the group and play in the playoffs.
Their biggest challenge in the latest qualification series will be the Super Eagles of Nigeria, who they play in the first leg in June 2024 and the home game in September 2025.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago