JOHANNESBURG – Lucas Radebe still nurses the ambition of being South African football’s top honcho.
The former Bafana Bafana captain was stopped in his tracks by a technicality from challenging Danny Jordaan for the presidency of the South African Football Association (Safa).
According to Safa rules, one has to have been an affiliate of a local football association for five years in order to be eligible to contest for the Safa elections.
Excluded from the elections because of that rule, Radebe did not get dispirited but instead - with the same tenacity he worked to stop the opposition strikers from finding his team’s goal - moved to get himself eligible.
“Yes, the desire to lead Safa is still there. I’m still busy with the local football association in Diepkloof (Soweto). I’m busy with them to see how we can speed up the process,” Radebe stated while attending former Bafana and Orlando Pirates defender Siyabonga Sangweni’s tournament in Dondotha in Empangeni.
Radebe’s keenness to take Jordaan on for the Safa presidency was met with glee by many in the soccer fraternity, with the general feeling being that the game should be run by those who have proven themselves in it and not ‘politicians’.
And they do not come more qualified than Radebe, an icon of the game both locally and internationally. He represented the country with distinction as Bafana captain for a long time and led the country at two Fifa World Cups. At club level he excelled in the tough English Premier League and became a revered figure as Leeds United skipper.
While keen to administer the game locally given his firm belief former players are best suited to run the game, Radebe is not suggesting the likes of Jordaan be completely kicked out.
“I’m not saying that the current leadership must just go. But we need to have a succession plan. Why can’t they bring us in and we learn from them because there will be a time when they have to go.
Who is going to take over? Unless they have people they have identified and they have them under their wings waiting to come in,” he added.
Radebe also opened up about his relationship with the current Safa president.
“We do talk when we see each other but it just ends there. For me, the most important thing is a face to face conversation where we are sitting down. It is not just about me but it is about the country. It is about ex-players contributing.
There’s a lot that we can offer.”@Tshiliboy