Tau Transfer Can Better SA Football – Reader’s Voice
Croatia, a country with a population of four million people, managed to go all the way to the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Yet, South Africa, which has a population of 57 million, cannot even qualify for the tournament.
Therefore, this poses the curious question: What is lacking in SA football?
The answer to this may be in the lack of South Africans plying their trade abroad - especially in the Europe’s elite. And Croatia's excellent World Cup campaign was certainly helped by the fact that all the players in their 23-man WC squad play for clubs in Europe.
This means that they are playing alongside and competing against the best players in the world on a weekly-basis, which in turn adequately prepares them to compete against the world's best nations.
Therefore, Percy Tau signing for English Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion is fantastic news for South African football. This is because the standard of Bafana Bafana will increase with more local players opting to play in Europe
This is clear from the fact that the majority of players from the five African teams that qualified for the 2018 World Cup play abroad. For example 22 of Senegal's 23-man World Cup squad play abroad - including five that play in the Premier League.
In contrast, in the 4-Nations Tournament held in Zambia in March earlier this year, five of the 25-man Bafana Bafana squad played for a club abroad at the time - Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford FC), Bongani Zungu (Amiens), Keagan Dolly (Montpellier), Phakamani Mahlambi (Al Ahly) and Lebo Mothiba (Lille).
Could Tau’s move to the Premier League be the catalyst to a better SA national team going forward?
*Note: This article was written by a Soccer Laduma reader and represents that particular individual’s thoughts or views.