FIFTEEN minutes. Fifteen coaches. One-one. There are so many numbers to put around the disaster that is Bafana Bafana. There used to be so many tears too, but those seem to have dried up along with South Africans’ hopes.
It was no surprise that Pitso Mosimane was sacked yesterday as Bafana Bafana head coach – and paid a great deal of money. That leaves second assistant coach, Free State Stars mentor Steve Komphela, to take charge of South Africa’s next two matches.
To have kept Mosimane at the helm of a team that could only scrape a draw against Ethiopia was impossible, particularly as Bafana Bafana have another major crucial qualifying fixture against Botswana in Gaborone on Saturday.
Mosimane’s record since taking over from Carlos Alberto Parreira in 2010 is dire: 15 matches played, five wins, seven draws and three losses. That includes one of the most embarrassing moments in the history of the team, when Bafana Bafana misread the Afcon tournament rules ahead of the final match against Sierra Leone last year and danced as if victorious.
That day we became a bit of an international footballing joke.
South Africans felt a rush of affection towards Bafana Bafana during the 2009 Confederations Cup, when Parreira was coach. That was the last time we actually qualified for an international tournament. And when we beat France in the group stages of the 2010 World Cup, there was every reason to get excited. But there hasn’t been much to get excited about since then.
Is it possible to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves down, yet again?
Perhaps, if Gordon Igesund becomes the manager.
It is too late for the new coach to plan properly for World Cup 2014; that should have been done long ago. But there is still time – just – to make a plan for 2018.