How would you fix SAFA?

Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)
At the end of one of the many soccer press conferences, Raymond Hack, who was the South African Football Association (SAFA) CEO at the time, asked me “why are you so angry?”

This was on the aftermath of Bafana Bafana’s dismal performance at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt in 2006.

For the record, this was one of the worst performances – if one can call it a performance at all as it was actually a non-performance – as the team that was guided by Ted Dumitru, assisted by Pitso Mosimane, came back without scoring a goal or getting a single point from their three opening matches.

Hack, together with Mubarak Mohamed who had been the Head of Delegation (HOD) during the tournament, had just been grilled by a highly upset media contingent on the shenanigans that went on in Cairo.

The lawyer, Hack, took it upon himself to confront me after the briefing – not in a bad or fighting way though I must say -  to find out what had upset me that much.

I pointed it out to the good law man that every South African has a right to be upset when the national team underperforms as they embarrass all of us because they go out there to represent us as a nation.

So it happened that over the weekend, I found myself pondering about our national team and South African football. I put myself in a position where I would be an advisor to SAFA and tried to figure out what would be my advice to them on how to fix the mess that is our game.

Unfortunately, I could not come up with any solution, or advice that has not been offered in the past.

I have noticed how passionate even readers of this column are about Bafana Bafana and the game of football in general. I sense a high level of patriotism every time they comment about matters concerning SAFA and the national team.

I have noticed how I almost get my head bitten off when I suggest that Gordon Igesund should just leave his job. I have also noticed that this comes from patriotism while I accept the argument that has been forwarded that no matter which coach we bring, they will not get it right.

I have also in the past conceded that our players are not world beaters that some people make them to be. Even when I agreed with Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula who called the players “a bunch of losers”, I again, almost had my head chopped off.

So as I delved in this though about sorting out SA football, a subject I have covered for more than three decades, I couldn’t come up with a suggestion or solution that has never been made.

Then a brilliant idea entered my small head: Why not invite readers of this column to put themselves in charge of SAFA and come up with solutions to our football.

So the question is: If you were elected to be the SAFA president, what would you do to fix our football.

Get rid of all the scandals that bedevil our football, fix development and ensure that Bafana Bafana perform at their utmost best?

I know that it is always very easy to criticise just as the saying goes that Rome was not built in one day but I am sure it can easily be destroyed in 24 hours.

So let me challenge you the readers and followers of this column to put on your thinking caps, be as creative as you can and come up with creative and brilliant ideas.

Let’s hear it!

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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