Not for the first time is the good ship SAS Bafana Bafana heading for the rocks.
In the 16 years since Clive Barker guided the South African football team to Nations Cup triumph and then qualification to the 1998 World Cup finals, the SA Football Association has created one crisis after another.
The men steering the team have been fired at a rate of around one every 18 months while the people at Safa central command keep their jobs.
The sacking of Pitso Mosimane (pictured) in the early hours of this morning was one more example of Safa’s ineptness. Prior to Sunday’s 1-1 draw against lowly Ethiopia, Bafana hadn’t won in their previous six matches and they failed to qualify for this year’s Nations Cup after an embarrassing “balls-up” when Mosimane and his team thought they had advanced to the Nations Cup finals – yet Safa still waited more than 30 hours to sack him.
Before Mosimane, Carlos Alberto Parreira’s reign was interrupted when he returned home to Brazil for personal matters. Carlos’s Brazilian pal Joel Santana filled in until Parreira’s return.
Previous coaches that have also cost Safa dearly to get rid of include Barker, Carlos Quieroz, Stuart Baxter and Shakes Mashaba.
All these men were hired and fired by Safa, a body that has not seen many changes in personnel down the years.
Some of their appointments have bordered on the comical. Such as the time Mashaba refused to call on Bafana’s overseas-based players for a 2010 World Cup bid match against England in Durban.
How did Safa handle the problem? They simply installed Jomo Sono, who called up the likes of Lucas Radebe and Benni McCarthy for the match, then carried on with Mashaba at the helm.
One of Safa’s classic moves was the removal of Barker a couple of months after he’d guided Bafana to their first ever World Cup finals at France 98. In their wisdom they brought in Frenchman Phillipe Troussier, who thought he knew how to handle African footballers, but didn’t have a clue.
Gordon Igesund knows how to treat local players and how to win with them. It is reported Igesund has been contacted by Safa to succeed Mosimane.
If that is the case the SA soccer public must hope Safa has got it right for once and SAS Bafana heads for the open seas and up the Fifa rankings.
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