Minister not confident about Bafana 2014 qualification

2011-11-22 10:21

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula is not confident that Bafana Bafana will be among the 36 national teams at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

This emerged at a press briefing during the National Sports Indaba held in Joburg.

While he said questions about the problems in cricket and football were a side issue, Mbalula said he was planning to have a meeting with the South African Football Association (Safa) about the national team’s performance.

The team recently failed to qualify for the African Cup of Nation finals that will be held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in January.

“From where we are seated, it looks like we are not going to Brazil,” he said. “I want to be in Brazil by hook or crook.”

Earlier in the day, Mbalula had questioned the commitment being displayed by Bafana Bafana players as compared to the Springboks and also lambasted the soccer national team’s leading goal-scorer, Katlego Mphela.

“I told Pitso Mosimane (Bafana coach) to visit a Springboks camp and see how they do things.

I think he can learn a thing or two about how things are done,” he said.

Turning to Mphela, who gesticulated to fans after scoring a goal during the international friendly match against Ivory Coast two weeks ago, Mbalula said: “Katlego Mphela can’t do that. He doesn’t own the national team. That’s the people’s team and he is not playing for Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates or Kaizer Chiefs.”

Mbalula also said having former players in administrative positions was not the only solution to problems besetting SA sport.

“The fact that you have played sport does not mean that you will become a good administrator,” he said.

“Look at the PSL and Orlando Pirates, Irvin Khoza never played football professionally but those two entities are successful.

“On the other hand, Kaizer Motaung was a great player and look at how successful Kaizer Chiefs are but that’s not the case with Jomo Cosmos who have been going up and down between the PSL and the second division while Jomo Sono was one of the greatest players this country has ever produced.”

Mbalula also demanded R200 million from the National Lotteries Board chairperson Professor Alfred Nevhutanda for the roll-out of the schools sports programme.

“I want that money. Studies have shown that in Australia and England, sport gets most of their funding from the lottery,” he said.

Mbalula insisted that the programme will definitely be rolled out in January.

He also said all stakeholders will meet in March to come up with a concrete implementation plan of the resolutions that will come out of the two-day Sports Indaba.

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