Safa delegation defies off-side rule

2012-01-28 16:54

Safa’s decision to send a delegation to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon is offside and a total waste of money.

After hosting a successful Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in 1996, the All Africa Games in 1999, the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which was rated the best ever, can Safa really justify spending money to dispatch a delegation to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon?

According to a media release from Safa, some of the areas the delegation will be looking at are the opening ceremony, ticketing, accreditation, logistics, and the general management of the entire tournament.

But, please, is this really worth spending money on?

Total hogwash, if you ask me, and this is why our football is going nowhere.

Perhaps the thing that Safa is capable of doing best is hosting events.

They did this with aplomb in the 1996 Afcon after accepting the hosting role at short notice.

This was after Caf decided to pull the plug on Kenya who were deemed unprepared. That the ’96 Afcon was a roaring success is well-documented.

Last year, the country also hosted the Caf Under-20 African Youth Championships, also at short notice due to the civil war that broke out in Libya, who were supposed to be hosts.

This came against the backdrop of the country staging a successful World Cup showpiece.

Now after all this, Safa sends people to Afcon to learn the trade of hosting. what new things do they hope to learn? Zilch!

I would have been much happier to see them go to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to offer their expertise on how to organise the best event.

Judging by the criticism the opening ceremony elicited last week, I wonder what the Safa delegation has learnt there?

In their defence, Safa vice- president Mandla Mazibuko said in a statement: “We hosted the best Fifa World Cup ever but in modern football you learn new trends almost every day.

“As hosts of the 2013 edition of the tournament, we want to do our homework so that we are not found wanting when we welcome the rest of the continent next year. Bear in mind, it is only a year to go now.”

I won’t be surprised if another delegation is sent to Brazil for the 2013 Confederations Cup to learn more as South Africa is the host of the 2014 African Championships!

Or is it a question of South Africans thinking we know too much and there is no need to learn, so we are perceived by other African countries to be too arrogant and naïve – yet we know nothing because we could not even interpret the Caf rules.

Maybe it is time to get off our high horses and face the harsh reality that we are not as good as we think we are.

But judging by the success of our events, I would bet my last cent that we match the best when it comes to hosting.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about on the field as we always fumble.

There are burning issues at home that need their urgent attention, but officials are gallivanting in West Africa.
 
We are lucky to be hosting next year’s event as we won’t have to qualify, otherwise we were going to be doomed once again.

South Africans are gatvol with the shenanigans going on at Safa and so am I.

– timothy@citypress.co.za 

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