Pressing Issues: Safa’s beyond the pale

2012-07-07 16:11

Of course Komphela refused

If we were not talking about the South African Football Association (Safa), I would be able to say the decision to ­offer Steve Komphela the job of technical director boggled my mind.

However, Safa long ago passed the stage where anyone is surprised by their often-bizarre decisions.

For starters, it was obvious that Komphela would not take the position so soon after being defeated by Gordon Igesund for the plum job of Bafana Bafana coach.

Secondly, at 45 years of age (he celebrated his birthday on July 1), the Free State Stars head coach is far too young to leave active coaching and be stuck in an office.

The third reason is that it would make no logical sense – mind you, that’s lacking in many a Safa decision – for Komphela to take a job that would technically (excuse the intended pun) make him Igesund’s boss but come with less glamour and even fewer perks.

One of the major challenges for a technical director is to come up with a uniform style of play that is suitable for South African players.

This style should be implemented from the most junior level up to the senior national team.

In fact, one of the mysteries of South African football is why this nation hasn’t adopted a uniform playing style since being accepted into the world football family about 20 years ago.

This has failed to materialise despite the association having employed several individuals for the position, including German national Horst Kriete (still remember him?) and one Brazilian, Marcus Falopa, who turned out
to be one of the biggest jokes in South African football.

Listening to Dr Robin Petersen, the Safa chief executive, proclaim that the position of a technical director “is a very key position for us”, I struggled to prevent myself from shouting: “Toss me another one.”

The rule of thumb the world over is that technical directors are well-aged and matured coaches who command respect from all their peers in the nation.

They are the wise men of the game who have seen it all, been there, got the T-shirt and are well-versed in the football structures of their respective nations.

This makes their position easier as most of the things they say, go.

Now imagine Igesund, and all the other national team coaches, such as Shakes Mashaba, reporting to Komphela.

Not that I have little regard for Komphela. On the contrary, I hold him in very high esteem but he hasn’t reached the stage where he could be South Africa’s principals coaches.

Given this, I think it was a very good decision for him to turn down Safa’s offer and choose to continue the good work he is doing at Ea Lla Koto.

All I can say to him is: “Nice un on ya, pal,” despite the decision having left Safa with egg all over its face once more, as his refusal is now being interpreted as a snub in football circles.

So? What’s new?

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.