Pressing issues: Safa’s Afcon shortcut has backfired

2013-02-10 10:00

The suits from the SA Football Association (Safa), government and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will have a lot to ponder as they watch tonight’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) final.

The first question Safa’s bigwigs should be asking themselves is: Why is Bafana Bafana not one of the teams contesting the final?

The easy answer is: Because our team is crap.

This tournament has more than confirmed what we have always said – that Bafana are lagging far behind their African counterparts.

Safa’s shortcut to get them into the finals by hosting has backfired.

Government should ask themselves if the R452 million of taxpayer’s money they gave to the local organising committee was well spent.

CAF should ask themselves if their organisation and officiating in this tournament has done anything to enhance their image.

But listening to sound bites from those in charge, it would seem we are living on different planets.

For our energetic Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula to say, “For two weeks South Africa has displayed excellent performances on and off the field, which inspired many across the length and breadth of our beloved country”, leaves much to be desired.

I for one, was not inspired and sorry, Mr Minister, I cannot call 25%, which is what Bafana achieved by winning only one of four matches, excellent.

One Pitso Mosimane must have felt very hard done by when he heard the Safa Makhulubaas Kirsten Nematandani say: “You have to aim high. If this level of performance is maintained, there is no reason Gordon (Igesund) should not be our coach until 2018.”

I only hope he was expressing his personal view and not that of Safa, seeing that Igesund has still not handed in his technical report and the national executive committee (which is the policymaking body) is still to meet to review the tournament.

That Nematandani has gone public to say Igesund’s job is secure after failure in the last eight of the continental tournament we hosted, and still expect him to take us to the World Cup, where Africa only has five spots, is rather asking for too much.

Well, Igesund himself has been making all kinds of wrong noises, such as: “I always want to get the best out of my players because I am a motivator and know that I can succeed.”

If all he is is a motivator, he should try his hand at motivational speaking.

Bafana need a coach and a good one at that, just as if Bongani Khumalo’s strength is that he speaks good English, he should become chairperson of a debating society and not Bafana Bafana captain.

Bafana need a strong leader who will lead by example in the mould of Lucas Radebe and Neil Tovey. These are the realities from Planet Reality.

»?smseleku@citypress.co.za

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