Bafana Bafana

Danny Jordaan lavishes praise on Pitso Mosimane, despite latter's SAFA snub

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Pitso Mosimane (Image courtesy from Pitso Mosimane's official Twitter account)
Pitso Mosimane (Image courtesy from Pitso Mosimane's official Twitter account)

One might have imagined that Pitso Mosimane had won the World Cup single-handedly judging on the lavish, over-the-top praise heaped on the former Mamelodi Sundowns coach by SAFA president Danny Jordaan after he had assisted Egyptian club Al Ahly annex the CAF Champions League trophy in the final against close rivals Zamalek last week.

Okay, while it was a notable achievement putting the icing on the cake of Al Ahly's triumph after linking up with the Egyptian club recently, with Mosimane becoming only the third coach to have assisted two different clubs to CAF Champions League glory - having guided Sundowns to the title in 2016.

But claiming Mosimane had made a major impact all over the continent; that every other topic in Africa ceased to exist and everyone from Cape to Cairo was talking of the coach who is widely known as Jingles?

Perhaps Jordaan, who was in Egypt for the CAF final and is never shy to trumpet his own importance, envisaged a degree of reflected glory from Mosimane's achievement.

But it is also significant that to this day Mosimane has not concealed his disdain for SAFA over what he considered his unfair dismissal as the Bafana Bafana coach in 2012 after a costly miscalculation that only a draw was required in the final qualifying game to take South Africa into the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil.

The projected draw was achieved and Bafana celebrated on the pitch. But lo and behold it was actually a victory that was needed for South Africa to make it to the celebrated soccer "Land of the Sugar Loaf Mountain" - and SAFA was unforgiving in indicting Mosimane for the catastrophe.

As it turned out, there has been an element of a blessing in disguise for Mosimane for the slap in the face he received from SAFA, with the former Bafana coach linking up with Sundowns and successfully going on to sharing in a record for a PSL coach of five Championship successes, as well as that CAF Championship League and other titles.

However, Mosimane clearly has not forgotten being booted out by SAFA and before deciding to leave Sundowns to undertake his bold north African safari in joining the continent’s most successful club, he was asked if he would leave the current PSL champions if offered the Bafana job again by SAFA.

How could I leave a club that has treated me so well as Sundowns to join an organisation that treated me as badly as SAFA, was the gist of his reply.

So was Jordaan also trying to mend fences with Mosimane with his adoring praise?

As to Mosimane's reaction? There is no indication it would not have been tinged with a "thanks, but no thanks," response.

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