Pressing Issues: Safa fails its planning lesson

2012-04-07 18:18

One Premier Soccer League (PSL) coach, who will remain unnamed for now, is wont to threaten to take off his shirt in a bid to show how many stab wounds he has as a result of his long association with football.

“My friend,” he would say. “I be taking my shirt off, you be seeing many hole in the back. Football people is stabbing all the time.”

In keeping with the spirit of ­taking English expressions literally, I can declare that the South African Football Association (Safa) has no more feet.

Given the countless times they have shot – and continue to – shoot themselves in the foot, it is safe to say they have no more feet left.

For years, planning has seemed like a foreign concept to Safa, especially at administration level, and this has proved to be their undoing.

Three recent incidents have proven that the national body has still not learned its lesson on proper planning.

The association hastened to call a press briefing to make a major announcement following reports that were led by colleague Timothy Molobi on Sunday, March 18, that Steve Komphela was to be roped in as Bafana Bafana assistant coach.

Then the briefing was called off on the day it was supposed to take place.

It has since emerged that the reason for calling off the gathering was that the National Executive Committee – which only met this past Saturday – still had to ratify the decision.

Then on Tuesday afternoon, out of the blue, Safa hit us with a media release that the SA Under-17 team would be taking part in a Four Nations tournament in Namibia “from Thursday, April 5, to Monday, April 9”.

When was this tournament planned? How well can the team be prepared as they only assembled on the same Tuesday the statement was issued?

Is a day enough to prepare for an international tournament?

This week, Safa hosted a Confederation of African Football (CAF) delegation in the country to finalise the agreement on the hosting of next year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals.

The visit came smack in the middle of Safa deliberating on the cities to host this event.

What was the rush? Couldn’t they ask CAF to hold their horses and only come after the cities had been chosen and announced?

This would give the continental body a chance to conduct a local inspection of the chosen venues.

As British prime minister Winston Churchill said during World War 2, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail” and American businessman and columnist Harvey Mackay, author of Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, confirmed, “Failures don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.”

Safa has a lot to learn on planning or else we will continue blundering about like bats.

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