Tau admits pressure on Bafana Bafana

 Serial Africa Cup of Nations un­derachievers, South Africa, are under immense pressure to excel at the 2024 tournament in Cote d’Ivoire, says star for­ward, Percy Tau.

The 1996 champions face fellow former title-holders, Tunisia, Mali and Namibia in Group E in Korhogo, the northernmost of five host cities.

It is widely considered the most intrigu­ing of the six first-round mini-leagues with pundits uncertain which two teams will automatically qualify for the knockout stage.

The sole area of agreement is that Na­mibia, without a win from three previous tournament appearances, are likely to finish last and be eliminated.

While Tunisia and Mali have been con­sistent performers at the marquee African football event, South African fans refuse to accept that Bafana Bafana may be early casualties.

“It is extremely difficult for us to satisfy the public we are under immense pressure,” Tau told reporters after a training session in the Western Cape university town of Stellenbosch.

“We aim to be among the best teams in Africa, but it just has not happened for some time,” added the winger from Egyp­tian and African giants, Al Ahly.

“Supporters were furious with us for not even reaching the last Cup of Nations in Cameroon two years ago.

“They are demanding that we bring the trophy back from the Ivory Coast. Obvi­ously, that is the goal of the players too, but it is going to be extremely difficult.

“Getting past the first round will be tough enough, then teams face four knock­out matches to win the competition.” — Supersports