Editorial: It’s time for Shakes to fall

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Shakes Mashaba (Supplied)
Shakes Mashaba (Supplied)

The SA Football Association (Safa) must do the right thing and relieve national coach Shakes Mashaba of his duties.

Hiding behind the thumb and saying he is halfway through his mandate is a feeble excuse.

Expecting Mashaba to take Bafana Bafana to the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia after his failure to qualify the team for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) is like expecting a climber who fails to summit a mountain in the Drakensberg to scale Kilimanjaro or Mount Everest.

It was much easier to qualify for the continental contest, where 16 countries will gather in Gabon from January 14 to February 5, rather than the global event, where only five African nations will be represented.

In the Afcon qualifiers, countries had to finish first in their groups, but there was even a route to make it through the back door by being one of the best third-placed nations. Bafana failed to achieve both.

A humiliating 3-1 loss to unfashionable Mauritania proved to be Mashaba and his charges’ undoing.

A chance was lost to dismiss him when it became obvious that he was not going to make it to Gabon, even before the qualifiers were completed.

Safa should have acted before the last game against Mauritania that ended in a dour, disappointing and humiliating goalless draw that left Safa president Danny Jordaan frothing at the mouth.

However, Safa continued dilly-dallying and tasked the technical committee to deal with it.

Safa should just say enough is enough if it is nursing any hopes – which are shared by this nation – to see our beloved Bafana Bafana among the 32 nations in Russia in two years’ time.

A new coach will have a good opportunity to prepare the team, as the game against Senegal next month will be last of the qualifiers until they resume in October next year.

It’s time for soccer bosses to act decisively.

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