South African sports Minister, Fikile Mbalula, has laughed off suggestions that he must apologise for calling Bafana Bafana “a bunch of useless losers”.
His comments sparked a national debate with some agreeing with him that Bafana need to up their game while others reckon the minister was way out of line.
The other comment that got many people talking was when he said Bafana players “don’t respect their parents and girlfriends”.
Yesterday he shot down statements by opposition political parties that his outburst was “utterly disgraceful”.
The minister yesterday told a local paper, Daily Sun, that he is disappointed with those who are playing politics when the national team is in crisis and needs urgent help.
“I’m not playing politics here but rather looking at the interest of our football and pride,” Mbalula said.
“Bafana are a brand of South Africa and people should don those colours with pride.
“I owe nobody any apology. Those players are aware that they should have won this tournament but where are they? They are out! If it was the Under-20 players then I would understand and maybe think I was a bit harsh. They deserve to be told the truth. The brand Bafana Bafana is deteriorating everyday.”
Mbalula also confirmed there will be no bonuses “for these losers” because “we don’t reward mediocrity. Everything has been cancelled”.
Mbalula’s spokesman Paena Galane added that the minister wanted the players to wear the national colours with pride.