Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane feels Safa may have finally realised that short cuts and unrealistic mandates for Bafana Bafana coaches are no way of improving South African football.
Newly appointed Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba has not been mandated to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco and Mosimane, a former senior national team coach who was dismissed over two years ago, feels it is the right approach.
This will give Mashaba time to build a strong team that will not only qualify for major competitions, but compete seriously at the highest level.
“We have to give him a chance. I think he is coming in a different role than all of us because we came in a time of mandates and all of that. He does not have a mandate. He does not have to win, he does not have to do anything for the Cup of Nations. So maybe it is the right approach. Maybe South Africa has realised it’s time to take a different route. Unfortunately, we were part of the test cases and it is okay. It’s part of football, so we move on. He has time, but I don’t know if the public is ready to see the team not qualifying for the Cup of Nations. Let’s wait and see.”
Mashaba’s appointment has been met with optimism in a country desperate for a turnaround and Mosimane has vowed to support the new man in charge.
“I must say congratulations to him. He is a local coach and I will give him support. Once a Bafana always a Bafana. I realised Safa don’t hold grudges. He also sued them before for unfair dismissal and he was paid out. It means Safa do not hold grudges and they brought him back, which is something positive,” said Mosimane.
Mosimane is delighted his players will be playing in the CAF Champions League and is hoping Premiership clubs will make most of the two spots that have been given to South African clubs in the Champions League and Confederations Cup.
Some South African clubs have previously complained about the cost implications when travelling for continental club competitions and the hostile conditions in the different countries, but Mosimane has encouraged them to look beyond that.
Last year’s league runners-up Kaizer Chiefs are meant to play in the Champions League, however they are still not sure if they will take part in the competition.
“The teams have a chance of doing well in the Champions League. Yes, we know that there are costs, but Black Leopards played (in the Confederations Cup) with no sponsor. Imagine if I say we are not sure we want to play in the Champions League. People will kill me here at Sundowns. We need players like Bongani Zungu to play in the Champions League. He needs to have the experience for when he plays for Bafana.