Mark Gleeson

And the next coach is ...

2010-07-05 13:20
Sport24 columnist Mark Gleeson (File)
Mark Gleeson

Pitso Mosimane is expected to be confirmed as the new national team coach, the only choice for the job, officials have decided.

It will come at the end of an unnecessarily expansive process where he will have to sit front of a technical committee and explain his vision, and then get the okay from a group of individuals who have either flopped in the job themselves or have no idea what it is like to coach at the top level.

The process the South African Football Association have set out is to have Mosimane meet the technical committee, headed by a taxi tycoon from Mpumalanga, before his appointment is confirmed by the association’s national executive committee, the self-described “highest decision making body in South African football.”

It can be argued that this is part of the democratic process, the need for consultation and dialogue before such an important decision is taken.

I would prefer strong leadership at the top of the SAFA structure where the executive board members get together, discuss what they want for Bafana Bafana, meet a few potential candidates and make a choice. You want people who are voted into major leadership positions to be able to take decisions, not seek to fob them off to committees under them because they are scared of responsibility.

SAFA last week held a press conference to explain the process of choosing the new coach. Most reporters who attended thought they had been summoned to the official announcement of Carlos Alberto Parreira’s successor but when they discovered this was not the case, got somewhat angry.

It caught the SAFA leadership by surprise and there was a lot of backpedaling to a lot of questions that suggested the new Kirsten Nemantandani regime in charge of the organisation might be keen to portray an image of professionalism but behind the scenes there are plodding along in the same way.

One month from the next Bafana Bafana match they have not yet fixed an opponent. They argue they have to wait for the new coach to give his okay as to the identity of the opponent on August 11 but that is nonsense. The history of football is littered with new coaches who have arrived in their new jobs and been forced to play their first match against an opponent already pre-determined. Joel Santana had a game against Nigeria away for his first in charge and poor Carlos Queiroz started with France at Ellis Park.

SAFA say they want a west African team because Bafana Bafana’s first game in the 2012 Nations Cup qualifiers is Niger at home in September. Given that the draw was made in February already, why is it that almost six months later SAFA still hasn’t finalised this match?

The new chief executive officer Leslie Sedibe, appointed late last year, is a lawyer by trade and a jargonist, full of fancy words that seeks to impress. But he got a rude reminder last week that today’s generation are not impressed by legal speak, wordy documents and a table full of authoritarian figures pronouncing on the affairs of the day.

People today want action. SAFA have shown themselves to be disorganised by not engaging Mosimane before the World Cup, sorting out his contact and having him in place for as soon as Parreira’s job was done.

Mark Gleeson is a respected television commentator and Editorial Director of Mzanzi Football.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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