Delron Buckley reveals how SAFA divided past Bafana Bafana teams


One of South Africa's finest exports Delron Buckley has finally lifted the lid on divisions within past Bafana Bafana squads and reveals SAFA's role in the whole mess.

It has been an open secret for years that the South African national team was plagued by infighting at a time in the mid-2000s when the country had arguably its finest group of talent.

The likes of Buckley, Benni McCarthy, Steven Pienaar, Quinton Fortune and Sibusiso Zuma never tasted glory together and many reasons have been argued for their failures.

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No matter what the opinions of supporters are based on what has been reported in the past, Buckley now exclusively reveals to that much of the blame can be attributed to the way SAFA handled the running of the team.

"Look, I will tell you openly," the former Borussia Dortmund, Arminia Bielefeld, Basel and Mainz 05 winger starts.

"When I was playing with them, and in my time it was different you know, here they don't treat you well. For example, for me to get here at one stage they made me pay for my own flight and they never reimbursed me. They promise you the world and they don't give you too much.

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"As far as insight, I will give you another example. We had a competition and I'm not going to tell you which one, but we were knocked out because the night before the game we were about to play, SAFA came in that very same night and called a meeting at 12 in the night.

"They said some players would be paid differently according to the level that they play. The European-based players would be paid differently compared to local players, and we thought that was unfair.

"Because you can't do that to the team you know. As far as SAFA is concerned you'll have to take a lot out from the players but also the players at the same time need to understand that this is their country, their home, and they've got to play for their country."

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The former Maritzburg United star says Europe-based players should not use that status to think they are better than PSL-based players because in the national team no one is better than anyone else, it is all about the team.

"You can't expect special treatment for them [European stars] and the rest of the players don't get that. We all need to be treated the same, have the same respect and have the same values."