Kaizer Chiefs legend, Banks Setlhodi, believes that the South African national team could have made it far in the World Cup if they were able to play during the international boycott in the 1970s and 1980s.
The 69-year-old former goalkeeper recalls a time when South African football was great and, discussed a friendly match played against a Brazilian team in Lesotho, where the Samba stars praised our footballers.
“I can tell you about when we played two teams from Brazil,” he told Soccer Laduma. “After the game, where we played in Lesotho because we couldn’t play in our country, the Brazilian footballers were all stunned by us and they said, ‘You know, you can really play in the World Cup and you’ll go very far."
Banks said that he doesn’t regret not being able to play in a World Cup, however, and that, if he had done, his teammates would have progressed to the latter stages of the tournament at the time.
“We all knew what was the problem (with the SA team), in the era that we played,” he continued. “There were so many of us that could have gone to play in the World Cup, but sometimes, I don’t really regret it that much, because I think if that crop of players was not there, by then, our football would not have been where it is today.
“But I believe that if we played in the World Cup, we were going to go very, very, very far. We were the best.”
Further Read: Stiga Reveals Greatest SA Exports
South Africa was suspended from FIFA in 1963 until the football boycott ended in 1992.