How to fix Bafana

2010-06-27 11:12

Following a performance that left a bittersweet taste in the mouth,

a clear-cut programme which ­includes the immediate appointment of a national

coach, a new captain and the establishment of a national soccer high-performance

centre is required for Bafana Bafana going forward.

The first step must be the appointment of the coach, which we are

told will happen on Thursday.

Given the statistics – that all World Cup finals since 1930 have

been won by countries being coached by their own nationals – logic says that

South Africa needs a local coach.

Such a coach must be given all the support he needs.

This must include a decent salary package; being sent on regular

international coaching courses; proper and suitably qualified technical staff

not appointed on a “braskap” basis; and who are given sufficient time to prepare

the side for major international events.

The new coach must then replace Aaron Mokoena with a new captain –

in the form of 23-year-old Bongani Khumalo.

This youngster has raised his hand on national duty and has already

established himself as a quality leader at SuperSport United, where he is


Preparations should include four-nation tournaments played on the

round-robin structure similar to major tournaments.

The South African Football Association (Safa) must ensure that the

country has a recognised, uniform playing style.

Technical director Serame Letsoaka must formulate the style and

come up with a coaching manual for use by all South African coaches, from those

guiding teams in the ­Local Football Associations (LFAs) to senior national team


A national soccer academy must be established at which local,

regional and national teams will become regular visitors for updates on the

latest soccer trends.

Safa must establish a soccer high-performance centre, with camping

facilities, which all national teams must use as base camp prior to

international engagements.

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) must come to the party by

introducing strict guidelines for the recruitment of foreign players and


South Africa must not become a dumping ground for washed-out

internationals from other countries. Rather, clubs must sign a restricted number

of top-quality players who are active in their national teams.

Coaches must go through a thorough test before they are signed to

determine whether they do indeed have the qualifications they claim to have and

are up to the stipulated standard.

Safa must rope in more football brains for the technical committee,

and this structure must meet regularly for updates.

It must also enjoy close links with the same structure at the

Federation of International Football Associations (Fifa) to keep it abreast of

global developments in the game of ­football.

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