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South Africa Celebrates NOT Qualifying for AFCON 2012

This weekend’s “Africa Cup of Nations 2012” qualification matches were definitely highlighted by an unfortunate misunderstanding had by the South African team.  101 Great Goals explains the very large gaffe.

Seemingly no one in South Africa realised that goal difference was not the deciding factor for qualification to AFCON 2012 in Equatorial Guinea, but in fact head-to-head results between the top three teams in the group did in fact mean that South Africa had failed to qualify.

Their 0-0 draw with Sierra Leone left South Africa tied with Niger and Sierra Leone, and ahead on goal difference but not on head-to-heads.

This humongous error infiltrated the whole country. Coach Pitso Mosimane admitted he had played for a point against Sierra Leone instead of the win Bafana Bafana needed.

Whilst at the final whistle, the players celebrated on the pitch for a number of minutes, went through a lap of honour and the state-run African Broadcasting Corporation proclaimed qualification, both of which can be seen on the video below.

This is funny from a viewing perspective, but I have a feeling the fallout from this will not be so funny for those involved.  In fact, the South African Football Association (SAFA) have already filed an appeal to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) citing that they “misinterpreted the tournament’s rules”.

[youtube width=”640″ height=”390″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL8uIgRZ_yM[/youtube]