Legendary Bafana Bafana ex-coach Barker has marked South African football’s damning turning point.
The 1996 AFCON winning coach and first man to qualify Bafana for the World Cup (France 98), left the nation in Africa’s 10 rankings and the world top 50.
However, the nation’s football has since been on a steady downward spiral. The man known as ‘The Dog’ has made an effort to explain how foreign influence brought SA’s ills.
"When we copied, I warned them. I said if you copy the Italians, Germans, Brazilians and other countries you will never beat them, but if you play with the style we had, a particular style, we could've nurtured that and presented what we thought was the way to play football to the world," Barker told Kick Off today.
"But unfortunately the influence of the foreign coaches, I think it was negative in different ways and we should've made sure we built on from what we did in 1996.”
“I think we were controlling in a degree to world football when we won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996, but from then it's just been all the way a down slide. It's a pity about that, we could've built from there a position of strength,” Barker concluded.
Meanwhile, Bafana have some football this week. SA will welcome the Eagles of Mali in Port Elizabeth. The annual Nelson Mandela Challenge will begin on Sunday at 15:00 from the stunning Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.