Pressing Issues: We’re sick of tired old soccer clichés

2013-01-06 10:01

Heads will roll!

Just like other clichés, I’m sure you are as tired of hearing this line as everybody else.

Every time something rocks South African soccer, we hear the same old tired refrain.

It’s the same with the Fifa report on match-fixing concerning Bafana Bafana’s 2010 World Cup warm-up matches.

But having covered SA football for a few years (29 to be exact), the cynic in me says we are likely to see no heads lying on the floor at the end of the whole furore.

We have been here before.

The same happened with the Justice Pickard Commission of 1996. The only head that rolled was that of then Safa executive president Solomon ”Stix” Morewa (may he rest in peace), leading to many people claiming the commission was actually a witch-hunt conjured up to get rid of him from the outset.

Most of the recommendations were never implemented.

When the Motimele commission on match-fixing and bribery started in 1988, the same promise was made. Can anyone show me any heads that rolled?

The findings of this probe, said to have cost the football fraternity millions, have never been made public.

Then there was the much-publicised “Operation Dribble” of 2004, when, despite 33 people having been arrested, including a PSL executive member, there were only four convictions of minor players after the whole saga.

Also interesting is that while this time round there have been calls – and even a short-lived “leave of absence” – for Safa president Kirsten Nematandani and four staff members, there was no pressure at the time for any PSL officials or staffers to step down or take a leave of absence.

The cynic in me says this report has once more been used to further individual interests and that Nematandani was a target for political reasons.

Until there is a genuine commitment from the football authorities to deal with the matters of corruption thoroughly once and for all, we will go nowhere soon. We should have had a clean soccer leadership and administration by now sans any finger-pointing.

Just as I wrote in this column on July 11, 2010: “Very little has been achieved through these commissions. So the football fraternity can be forgiven for ­asking: “Will it be any different this time?”

I still maintain that stance.

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