Pitso must not be derailed by Safa circus

2011-05-21 18:45

Love him or loathe him, Pitso ­Mosimane has done a sterling job as Bafana Bafana coach.

There were many sceptics when he was appointed, but he has made his critics eat humble pie.

When he took the reins from ­Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira soon after the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Bafana had moved from an embarrassing number 83 to position 66 in the world.

The amiable Mosimane has since steered the team up to a more respectable number 38 globally and 4th on the continent.

Given where we have been, this is no mean feat.

But if the goings-on at the SA Football Association (Safa) head office and within the organisation’s leadership are ­anything to go by, Mosimane faces a tougher challenge that may mean a bleak future in his rebuilding process.

Safa – an organisation tasked with development of the game, among other things – has just confirmed the appointment of Barney Kujane as Bafana Bafana team manager.

Makes one wonder what part of wisdom would lead them into ­appointing somebody past the pensionable age as the senior team’s manager?

There can also be no logical ­explanation as to why the national team was made to play a useless friendly match against Tanzania – ranked 117 in the world and 29th in Africa – last week.

No one can sell us a dummy that this was in preparation for the upcoming crucial clash with Egypt – which are 36 and 3rd in the world and Africa, respectively – in a crunch Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Reports that this match was arranged as a barter for a position in the Confederation of African Football for Safa’s president – if true – are a scary indicator that our soccer is back where it was before the September 2009 Safa elections, when the national team was used for individuals’ gains.

Should this trend continue, Safa will find itself enmeshed in a similar situation the Bible warns against in Proverbs 14:1: “A wise woman builds up her home, but a stupid one tears it down with her own hands.”

Pitso needs all the support he can muster and needs to avoid being derailing by the whimsical wishes of people interested in self-aggrandisement.

Bafana is a national asset and must be treated thus.

If the goings-on between Safa, the Premier Soccer League and professional clubs are anything to go by, football may soon find itself back in the dark days when soccer bosses were divided between the A and B team with dire consequences.

We don’t want to travel that painful road again.


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