South Africa league wants more World Cup representation after Dauda, Sumaila showing for Ghana
South Africa’s top-flight is hoping to see a greater representation of domestic league players in future Fifa World Cup tournament after two Ghanaian players from the league played in the tournament in Brazil.
The recently concluded tournament in Brazil had three footballers who ply their trade in South Africa.
The Premiership flag bearers at the international spectacle were Ghanaian pair Fatau Dauda, who plays for Orlando Pirates, and Rashid Sumaila from Mamelodi Sundowns.
Nigerian Ejike Uzoenyi was also at Sundowns.
Premier Soccer League (PSL) chief executive Brand de Villiers says more players from their top league playing at the World Cup will enhance its status.
“I think it would be good for football in this country if we had more players playing at that high level. It can only raise the competitiveness of our game,” De Villiers said.
“Exposure to the World Cup will give our players good experience which they can use in our local league.”
Although pleased with the trio’s participation in Brazil, De Villiers said the strength of the Premiership could be improved by greater representation in such competitions.
“For us, if the national team qualifies, then we would have many more players there. And we’re also restricted because we have a limited number of foreign players that can be fielded by clubs.
“We pride ourselves in being one of the best leagues on the continent and that should also show at an event like the World Cup.”
De Villiers, who recently returned from Brazil, was impressed with the quality of football displayed at the 20th edition of the event.
“We saw a lot of attractive football displayed. It was one of the most exciting World Cups, and I think it lived up to expectations.”
By virtue of playing host, the 2010 edition held in South Africa comprised of the most Premiership players.
However it appeared there was still plenty of work to be done for the mark to be matched or exceeded.
De Villiers was at the Estadio Maracana two weeks ago for the quarter-final clash where Germany beat France 1-0. In Rio de Janeiro the PSL boss witnessed first-hand the precision of the German machine at work.
He said he had picked Germany to hoist the trophy after a dominant showing in the group stages.
The Germans went on to win their fourth World Cup title, overcoming Argentina with a sublime extra-time strike by Mario Gotze.
“I felt sorry for Argentina there, but Germany was just better. They were my choice because of the way they play.
“They are a unit and everyone contributes to the team. I definitely think they deserved to win after coming close for so many years.”
De Villiers would be hoping that domestic players were as motivated to emulate the high standards of football that were on display in Rio.
With poor stadium attendance being one of most burning issues in local football, attractive displays on the field of play would go a long way in alleviating that problem.