It was 'unjustifiable' for Pitso Mosimane to be sacked
This month marks 10 years since South Africa hosted the first World Cup on African soil. But such has been the national team's rollercoaster ride over the last decade that they missed out of the last two World Cups, in 2014 in Brazil and 2018 in Russia.
Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was not going to last after failing to guide Bafana past the group stage in 2010 - the first hosts to fall at the first hurdle.
But hope gripped the nation when Safa appointed Mosimane, who was one of the assistant coaches in 2010, as 1994 World Cup winning coach Parreira’s successor in July 2010.
However, only two years into his four-year contract, Mosimane was shown the exit door by Safa immediately after Bafana drew 1-1 with unfancied Ethiopia in their opening match of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
Mosimane also failed to lead Bafana to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, and Sangweni has joined many who feel “Mosimane was booted out of the hot seat too soon”.
“I think it was unjustifiable for Pitso to be sacked. He had the experience. When he was in charge the team was doing very well. It’s just that we are an impatient nation. We forget that we have to build gradually,” said Sangweni, who was in the 2010 World Cup squad.
“We won, drew and lost under Pitso, but there was improvement. But due to politics, I don’t know what happened after. I think that if they (Safa) continued to believe in Pitso, today we’d be singing a different tune.”
Sangweni is not berating Mosimane’s successors, including Steve Komphela, Gordon Igesund, Shakes Mashaba, Stuart Baxter and current coach Molefi Ntseki, but says few coaches understood SA football and its players like Mosimane at the time.
“I think here in South Africa, we have a tendency of looking down on the most hard-working people. We can’t support each other. Not every local coach will be our favourite but we need to support each other,” he said.
“All the other coaches left after the World Cup and we remained with a coach that understood local football. But instead of keeping him, advising him and letting him work for his country (we let him go). I think we’d be speaking another language at the moment if he (Mosimane) was still around.”