Pressing Issues: Jordaan must get Safa House in order

2013-10-20 10:00

Each time we strayed off the line, my father – God bless his soul – used to warn us that his house was not “kwaMazenzele”.

This word means “where people do as they wish”.

This week’s developments:

» SA Football Association (Safa) vice-president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana – ah! Zanemvula of AmaBhala in Flagstaff, Eastern Cape – publicly stated that Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund “should do the honourable thing and resign” if he failed to win next year’s African Nations Championship (Chan);

» Igesund responded that this was “rubbish”; and

» Sportswear company Puma issued a statement that they had terminated their technical licensed partnership with Safa.

All these have the hallmarks of an association that has become kwaMazenzele.

Nonkonyana’s statement was fine and good except that it was actually not the association’s official standpoint.

Prior to his grandstanding, which he has now turned around and said was made in his capacity as chairperson of the Chan organising committee, newly elected Safa president Danny Jordaan had said the association was still working out all the mandates of national coaches.

At the new Safa leadership’s first national executive committee meeting last week, a decision was made to hold a lekgotla on October 29 and October 30, where policy will be shaped and mandates dished out to all Safa structures.

So one has no idea where the Flagstaff chief got the temerity to pronounce on Igesund’s future.

It is on record that the head coach failed on his two mandates – reaching the semifinals of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations and qualifying for the 2014 World Cup – given by Safa when he was employed in June last year.

But no one has said anything about a new mandate except Igesund himself, who’s told anyone who would listen that he is building a team for the 2018 World Cup.

For him to come out in public and say an elected vice-president of an association that employs him is talking “rubbish”, is out of order.

But two wrongs don’t make a right, given that Nonkonyana spoke out of tune.

And then, out of nowhere, Puma released its statement, dated October 17. What prompted this is still unclear as the contract had been terminated in January this year.

The same media that had reported on the matter at the beginning of the year lapped up the story as if it were breaking news.

Maybe the release of this statement, in the wake of Absa making its own announcement that it will not extend its contract when it expires in December, was meant to prove once more that Safa is in tatters.

This is where Jordaan’s task comes in. Is he the man to save SA football? If so, the way he handles these challenges, which he should have known before taking the poisoned chalice, would answer the above question.

The chief has been known in the past for his utterances. He needs to be handled.

Jordaan will need the wisdom of Solomon to ensure that the association operates in such harmony that even Beethoven and Mozart would turn green with envy. This is a mammoth task, but unfortunately, this is how history will judge Jordaan.

He will go down in the history books as the man under whose stewardship Safa continued to bleed, being the laughing stock of the world and a butt of all crude jokes; or the man who turned it all around, made it rise like a proverbial phoenix from the ashes, and made it a world-class association.

Will Safa continue being kwaMazenzele under his watch? The choice is clear.


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