Gordon Igesund is pathetic!

Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)
Gordon Igesund is pathetic!

Allow me to qualify my statement before you chop my head off.

This is not a call on him as a coach, a field in which he passes with brilliant marks.

But the statement is based on his utterances since the 4-1 victory over Botswana that, unfortunately, was not good enough for the national team - Bafana Bafana - to proceed to the next round of the 2014 Soccer World Cup.

Igesund has been doing a lot of talking since them and after the insignificant 2-1 loss in a friendly against Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

Unfortunately, he has done a lot of talking - but actually has said nothing.

All that this has achieved, is to make him sound like a man who is desperate to hold onto his job. And by the sound of it, he does not believe that he deserves to do so based on merit. Hence he has come up with a litany of excuses.

From the onset, Igesund was given a poisoned chalice and an almost impossible task when he was asked to at least reach the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and qualify the team for next year’s World Cup.

Well, I don’t have a problem with that as the mandate was yet the South African Football Association (SAFA) living in dreamland, and nothing new there.

What they based this mandate on Is anybody’s guess.

But I have a problem with Igesund that he accepted the mandate and promise to fulfill both those wishful thinking objectives.

In doing so, he sent the nation’s hopes skyrocketing and had almost everybody believe that Bafana Bafana had what it takes to be in the last four at the AFCON and also be among the 32 nations in Brazil next year.

He, just like SAFA, never explained to us what he based his hopes on.

We all know that the captain is usually the last to leave a sinking ship.

For Igesund now to come up with all kinds of excuses on why he failed and suggests that he must be retained going forward, is premature.

His behavior raises another question: How do we trust him and take his word in future that he will fulfill a mandate given to him or he will accept just as a façade to collect the fat paycheck at the end of the day and come up with excuse afterwards?

The first thing he should have done, was acknowledge his failure at fulfilling the mandate that he had incorporated in his employment contract.

As things stand, SAFA has all the grounds to terminate his contract as it was never part of the agreement that he would make the team “play better” or “decent football” - terms that are now being used by him, his cronies and those who vow by his name.

The song he is singing now about lack of development has been there for decades and nothing new. The inactivity of junior teams has been a scourge of our football that has been mentioned ad nauseam.

So these are not new.

As I have said, Igesund is a good coach. In fact, he is currently the best we have to guide the national tea, unless the head honchos at SAFA decide to look outside the country.

This will go against the flow of what the word is doing and that statistic that no country has ever won the Soccer World Cup being coached by a foreigner.

But this will be determined by the new leadership that will come in on September 28 when SAFA holds its elections.

In the meantime Igesund must stop dishing out excuses as he has been doing.

As one dear colleague would say, ‘Toss another one, Gordon!’

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 City Press Sports Editor.

Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.
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