Bafana looked like defeated men from the outset

2014-03-08 00:00

AS the much talked about match between Bafana Bafana and five-times world champions Brazil went on, I couldn’t help but observe something very serious.

While Brazil coach Luis Scolari and his technical director Carlos Alberto Parreira — who is a former Bafana Bafana coach — looked very confident and had frequent conversations followed by smiles as wide as the Pacific Ocean, the South African bench told a different story.

There were no conversations between coach Gordon Igesund and his assistant Serame Letsoaka.

Their body language did not inspire any confidence. They looked like defeated men from the onset.

Gone was the confidence that we witnessed in the first encounter that was played in São Paolo late last year. So were Igesund’s touchline theatrics, where he shouts orders and throws his hands in the air.

In fact, he looked like a man who had lost interest or run out of ideas. And then to rub it all in, after the game he said: “It wasn’t a bad performance”.

Really now?

Why, he went even further to say: “I don’t think the score line is a fair reflection of the game; 5-0 is a lot.”

Yeah! Right! A young person would say.

A 5-0 defeat is indeed a lot, but you are wrong to say it was not a fair reflection of the game.

It was a fair reflection of a match where Bafana Bafana were outplayed, out-thought, outgunned and out everything. I nearly said outclassed but I think it would be an injustice to the queen’s language to use the word “class” in anything pertaining to Bafana Bafana.

All that came out of the match was that Igesund is a man who has lost interest and has run out of ideas. It was quite obvious that he no longer cares and all that he is doing is seeing out his contract.

This is so unfair, from both him and his employers, the South African Football Association (Safa). They should have terminated his contract when the country failed to qualify for the 2014 Soccer World Cup, which will be held in Brazil in three months’ time.

By now, we should have started with a rebuilding process and made our U23 team the main national team, and built it towards next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and the 2018 World Cup.

Whoever would have come in after the disastrous failure to qualify would have had a head start by now.

Actually, I don’t even see the purpose or benefit of the two friendly matches that Safa has lined up against Australia and Iraq.

One runs out of words when trying to say what needs to be done to revive or raise our football.

All words, such as going back to the drawing board, learning curve, rebuilding, development and such, have been used.

As some have pointed out: that drawing board is already full and cluttered by now.

All we need is action.

We are tired of hearing what the Safa Development Agency is going to do. Let’s see some action and the time is now!

• S’busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa’s leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is currently the City Press sports editor.

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