Sleeping on the job: Or is Covid-19 to blame for SAFA's delay in filling technical director role?

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Danny Jordaan (Gallo Images)
Danny Jordaan (Gallo Images)

Was it a case of an effective "Snoozy Joe" falling into an untimely slumber in delaying for 10 months the task of seeking a replacement for Neil Tovey in the key role of the national organisation's technical director? 

A SAFA spokesman has come out in defence of "the long wait" in which, among other things, Bafana Bafana have failed to qualify for next year's CAF Nations Cup Finals in Cameroon - claiming that restrictions resulting from the pandemic would have limited the functions of the technical director.

The paramount task of this position is to co-ordinate the affairs of all South African teams, but principally work in unison with Bafana's head coach while offering advice and assistance.

The 2-0 defeat to Sudan that cost South Africa a place in the coming AFCON finals and the immediate firing of coach Molefi Ntseki who might well have benefited from a suitably qualified technical director at his side, would seem to torpedo the validity of SAFA's explanation.

In addition, another view from the SAFA organisation, who are not imbued with huge finances, is "why pay a large sum of money  to a technical director  when his work is limited during the pandemic" .

That would  be misguided, to say the least.

Now, it seems, the catastrophic elimination from AFCON has resulted in something of a panic and wake-up call in the SAFA ranks, with an advertisement surfacing for the immediate appointment of a technical director before Bafana''s critical World Cup qualifying campaign that starts in June, at an annual salary of close to R1-million.

Vital, however, is that time is limited before the initial 2022 World Cup qualifying games against Ghana, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia and making a hurried, poor choice of a technical director could prove as bad as none at all - particularly as SAFA will also be searching high and low for a Bafana head coach replacement at the same time.

For SAFA president Danny Jordaan and the organisation as a whole, the minimum of 2022 World Cup qualification appears a matter of make-or-break - emphasised by the fact that the South African newspaper with the largest circulation blazed the message on its posters that it was "Time for Jordaan to go."

And whether the president is going or not, it is worth noting that when SAFA announced the sacking of Ntseki  after the Sudan game, the expected presence and pronouncement of Jordaan at the fateful meeting did not as much as materialise.

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