SAFA president Dr. Danny Jordan came out guns blazing criticizing yet another uninspiring Bafana Bafana display against the lowly ranked Mauritania.
The once mighty giant of African football drew 1-1 with Mauritania ranked at Number 104 according to the latest FIFA World Ranking. The results spell disaster for Bafana Bafana as they failed to qualify for 2017 AFCON tournament to be held in Gabon.
After a disastrous qualifying campaign trail, the crème dela creme of SA football will sadly be watching the biannual soccer spectacle from the comfort of their homes like the rest of us. Bafana won 1 game, drew four and a single loss.
As always the defiant coach Shakes Mashaba was pleased and content with his charges on the day.
“I think it’s a disappointing performance – we have to say that up straight,” Jordan
“This must be the end of the journey, not the beginning because this cannot lead us into the 2018 campaign, where we will play the giants of the African continent. “I hope that the Nelson Mandela Challenge against Egypt will indicate to us that we have the team with the determination, will, and guts to win.
“What we saw tonight was disappointing. We had a goal given to us through a penalty; we had numerous opportunities, but we cannot continue to talk about the same things.”
I must say I’m now glad that the first citizen of football in South Africa Dr. Jordan is back and fully in charge of football matters after a political sabbatical at the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan. Judging by his utterances coach Shakes Mashaba is heading towards the exit door at SAFA House.
Public opinion is divided on whether Bra Shakes should step aside or continue to steer the ship to nowhere. The fact of the matter is that the masses of this football mad nation have lost hope with the status quo the national teams find itself in. The current situation had not been a once off occurrence, it has been bubbling under for a number of years, yet the so-called custodians of football seemed not to care in turn they looked the other way. Our football is in ICU and needs serious attention if we are to head back to the glory days.
For numerous football reasons, I wish Bra Shakes could vacate the seat, which has become very hot for to handle. The arrogance displayed by coach Mashaba in dealing with football matters such as proper planning prior to important matches and inconsistent team selection leaves much to be desired for. Don’t get me wrong Bra Shakes is one of the most decorated and experienced coach South Africa has ever produced, with a very impeccable record in nurturing and unearthing new raw talent.
Just to put it ingenuously Mashaba is an old skool coach that has consistently been unable to utilize and embrace new modern tools of football, therefore it is unlikely that we will reach 2018 Russia World Cup with him at the helm. An urgent reshuffle of the technical team is required urgently, one would say the timing is wrong to change things around thus it will disrupt genesis of the team. And my question is which team are you talking about? At this moment we have no team that signifies the nuclear of the current Bafana Bafana team. Any world class coach can hit the ground running with the current crop of talented players at our disposal.
The lack of planning should also be directed towards SAFA’s door. The governing body is tasked with setting the tone and vision on issues pertaining to football maters such development of the game et al. Over the past couple of years we have seen all sorts of visions (planning for the future) like Vision 2006 to Vision 2018 and 2022. I have never experienced, seen or even enjoyed the fruits of each vision, as they keep on shifting year on year. The association has failed dismally.
There’s nothing wrong with planning for the future, however, central to every plan is the period within which the desired results are expected. Like wine, football planning requires a sizable amount of time to fully mature. All these short gun visions haven’t bared any fruits, our football hasn’t developed an inch, and we have failed to produce world class players like in the yesteryear’s. The time is now to implement long term plans for development at grassroots levels to produce the kind of players suited to the South African way of playing.
As we normally say that our country does not operate in isolation and it is part of the global economy, we should take cues from major footballing nations such as Germany, Spain, Holland and France on development issues in order to create our own identity. It can’t be business as usual and remain the laughing stock of the continent yet we have world class facilities to produce the best of the best.
South African football is in urgent need of patriotic men and women who will rise to the occasion and deliver the nation out of the wilderness of world football to a promised land wherein we are able to compete with the best in the game. A concerted effort is needed from all key football stakeholders to bring about the required change. Until such time we will continue to bask in the glory of 1996 African Cup Of Nation victory.