South Africa's Africa Cup of Nations defeat in Mauritania this weekend was a blow to the country.
The continent's biggest footballing event is to kick off amid troubles ranging from dual-identity players to the spread of the Ebola virus.
As half of Bafana's original squad have withdrawn ahead of friendlies overseas, coach Gordon Igesund has been forced into a last-minute scramble.
Nigeria has survived a fright in Ivory Coast to book a place at the African Nations Championship finals for the first time.
Nigeria has beaten Côte d'Ivoire 4-1 while Morocco shocked title-holders Tunisia this weekend in 2014 African Nations Championship qualifiers.
Paul Put has achieved a football miracle with Burkina Faso no matter what happens when the pre-tournament no-hopers tackle Nigeria at the Afcon final.
Nigeria edged Dutch club Sparta Rotterdam 1-0 behind closed doors this weekend in a final warm-up match to 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Cape Verde Islands have secured a place at Afcon for the first time and former champs Ethiopia are back in the big time after a 30-year absence.
Fallen giants Nigeria are poised to reach the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations despite being held 2-2 by Liberia this weekend in a final round qualifier.
Manchester United fever is sweeping SA with tickets selling fast for a two-match tour despite the absence of Wayne Rooney and other first choices.