SA football lacks leadership

2011-11-12 20:29

South African football has been in the ICU for years.

Promising signs of recovery that include:
» Orlando Pirates winning the African Club Championships in 1995;
» Bafana Bafana’s African Cup of Nations victory in 1996; and
» Being awarded the rights to host and then hosting a successful World Cup last year, were a few signs that gave us false hopes.

They were just the stirring of a comatose sport like the involuntary muscle movement or the opening of eyes by a patient in a coma.

This week’s developments regarding the SA Under-23 team was what AmaZulu call isilonda esibhibhayo – a septic wound – left by the ugly 2009 Safa elections.

It shows that there were no winners in those fateful polls.

Football was the biggest loser.

Those who lost, are sulking. They have taken a stance to hold the game to ransom. They are bent on ensuring that nothing moves unless it has their blessing and will personally benefit them.

Sadly, those who won, are gutless, rudderless individuals who don’t have what it takes to lift the game to new heights.

The individuals at the helm of South African football leadership broadly consist of four categories.

Those who:
» Are too powerful, greedy and more – will do nothing for the mere love of the game other than those things that will benefit them materially or enhance their personal agendas;
» Know what needs to be done but are spineless cowards who can’t do the right thing for fear of upsetting those in category one;
» Praise-singers who will never speak ill of anyone wielding power; and
» Sit around while the world goes by. They sit quietly in meetings, just happy to make up numbers and enjoy benefits such as “meeting allowances”, stay at top hotels and drive in flashy sponsored vehicles.

It is because of these individuals that our football is in such a shambolic and shameful state where:
» Bafana have failed to qualify for the Afcon finals twice in a row; and
» The PSL is among the richest leagues in the world but this is not reflected by our players being signed by clubs in top leagues such as the English Premiership and Spanish La Liga.

In spite of this malaise, soccer bosses still rake in millions in bonuses and our national coach is among the highest paid in Africa.

So, why should they bother?

Our football needs somebody who will take it by the scruff of the neck and force it in the right direction.

None in our current leadership fit this description.

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