Pressing issues: Heed the deep issues plaguing soccer

2012-05-26 19:31

Deeper issues bedevilling our football need to be addressed before we find ourselves back in a quagmire.

One of them is Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs’ premature retirement from international football, or Bafana Bafana.

It became obvious this week that his decision leaves much to be desired.

While the player refused to elaborate on his decision, comments by team-mates Benni McCarthy and Dane Klate, and a terse statement by the club – “It was the player’s decision and we at Pirates respect it” – shows that there are deeper issues that should be addressed.

McCarthy’s words were a mouthful: “When he explained his reasons, the man just broke out crying. I tried to put myself in his shoes and I realised if I was in his shoes, I would have done exactly the same.”

A lot can also be read from Klate – who set a new record on Saturday, becoming the first player to win five league titles in the PSL era – when he said he was not spending sleepless nights over not being selected for Bafana.

He pointed out that if he was not selected in the year he was voted Absa Premiership Player of the Season in 2009/10, then why should he worry now?

These point to a problem with the Bafana Bafana team selection criteria.

This issue cannot be left unattended or swept under the carpet as the team embarks on a serious campaign to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

It is incumbent on the national coach to take players, clubs and coaches through his selection policy.
This would stop the bickering that follows every team announcement.

» On a lighter note, Chelsea’s victory over Bayern Munich in the European Champions League sent statistics flying out the window.

Strikers Didier Drogba (21) and Fernando Torres (6) have scored a mere 27 goals in all competitions between them this season, while Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (72) and Arsenal’s Robin van Persie (35) have whacked the net 107 times.

Drogba’s headed effort against Bayern Munich marked his ninth goal in nine Chelsea cup finals.

The Blues have two trophies – the FA Cup and the Champions League – while Barca and The Gunners had zilch this season.

This was before Friday’s Copa Del Rey final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, which Barcelona won, with Messi scoring his 73rd goal.

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