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South Africa’s 2018 World Cup dreams have been shattered as Bafana Bafana lost the third round of the World Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde last night — and Twitter did not let it happen quietly.
By Wednesday morning, the team was trending in the top spot on Twitter, with Cape Verde in sixth, as South Africans cracked jokes to mask their pain.
Bafana Bafana is by far the most emotionally abusive relationship I will ever get myself into
— Siya Sowati (@Siya705) September 5, 2017
Many made the connection between the under-performing team and the South African government.
Are #Bafana bafana players like government employees? Getting paid whether they do the job or not?
That should change
No goal, no pay! 😊 pic.twitter.com/cFKRMaFC5o
— 💞MaMbhele💞 (@xolisile_mbhele) September 5, 2017
Things holding us back as a country:
• Proof of residence
• Long queues
• Lack of funding
• “We’re offline”
• Bafana Bafana
— Thokozani Hlophe 🌹 (@okaSameya) September 1, 2017
But as with South African politics, some on Twitter have seen hope for Bafana in the hands of the EFF.
The 1st clause in EFF’s Manifesto must be “We’ll change Bafana Bafana Kit to Red” You cant win anything in a yellow (ANC) T-shirt these days
— IG @AdvBarryRoux (@AdvBarryRoux) September 5, 2017
Being mocked alongside the soccer team was kwaito artist Babes Wodumo, recently in the news for asking her fans to link her to a leaked song from a stolen USB so that she could delete it.
Babes Wodumo may you please send me the Link, I want to delete Bafana Bafana!!! pic.twitter.com/DuTFlvNdWv
— Nomzamo Mhlongo (@Zamo_Njomz) September 5, 2017
The soccer team was competing for a spot in next year’s Russian-hosted FIFA World Cup. They have two more matches to redeem themselves, but it is unlikely even two wins will pull them through to the tournament.
“Mathematically Bafana Bafana still hav….” pic.twitter.com/0uI6OY7HOx
— Lesilo Rula (@kay_mahapa) September 5, 2017
The situation is reminiscent of 2010 when South Africa could only pass through the group stages by beating France by two or more goals. Even then, support for the team outweighed what it could achieve.
This is South Africans forcing Bafana Bafana to qualify for Russia World Cup. What a sad story. pic.twitter.com/LoSsv3xfM2
— Mikey Mashila (@MikeyMashila) September 5, 2017
Your opinion on Bafana Bafana?
Me : pic.twitter.com/b6pH4uFHnF
— Vuyo_Mathers🇿🇦 (@Khwali_Vuyo) September 5, 2017
Mostly, South Africans on Twitter were just tired of a team making promises it can’t keep and flaking under pressure.
You should’ve told bafana bafana that this is a friendly match, they would’ve done the most by now. pic.twitter.com/rhP6Rs5gph
— Lesego™ (@The_ReasonYou) September 1, 2017
— Deucez mbambo (@Deucez_Mbambo) September 5, 2017
— TheRealPaul (@ChiresheFarai) September 6, 2017
The team plays Burkina Faso on 7 October in its next qualifier.