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SA failing

Lucky Sindane/Twenty Ten

Location: South Africa

The early exit of South African football teams over the years in the Champions League suggests that the future of local teams on the continent is gloomy.

It has been a while since South Africa enjoyed success in continental competitions. For a trace of good news, we need to look back to 1995 when Orlando Pirates won the Champions League. A Clive Barker-coached Bafana Bafana completed the golden era when they captured the Afcon Cup the following year.

Kirsten Nematandani the newly-elected South African Football Association (Safa) president says: “It is important that our clubs do well on the African continent before we can move to the national team. No team has achieved what Pirates did in 1995 and that says a lot about the standard of football in the country. We need to pull up our socks and start doing well in the Champions League. We have the resources to do it.”

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) Champions League is an annual international club football competition. The top club sides from Africa's football leagues are invited to participate in this competition, which is the premier club football competition on the continent and equivalent to the UEFA Champions League.

Two Egyptian giants and Cairo-based arch-rivals, el Zamalek and al-Ahly, have dominated the competition over the years. The Cairo ‘Red Devils’ (al-Ahly) have won it a record six occasions – in 1982, 1987, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2008 – while the Cairo ‘Whites Knights’ (el Zamalek) have taken the honours on...

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