Who will bell SAFA?
Sport24 columnist S’Busiso Mseleku (File)
One of my favourite childhood stories was titled “Who will bell the cat?.”
This is a story of a mouse community that was being terrorised by a cat.
They decided to call a meeting to devise a strategy to avoid being devoured by the ever hungry feline.
A young mouse suggested that a bell should be put around the neck of the cat.
“This way, we will hear the bell ring while the cat is still far away,” the young chappie opined enthusiastically.
This suggestion led to a rupture of jubilation as the mice celebrated their freedom.
The party was spoiled by an old grey geezer who when asked why it was not part of the celebrations, retorted: “I can’t celebrate unless I know who will bell the cat.”
This put a spanner in the works and brought an end to the party as it dawned that no mouse can get close enough to a cat to put a bell around its neck without being eaten.
With all the shenanigans going on in South African football about match-fixing, allegations of missing funds and dirty fights leading up to the South African Football Association (SAFA) in September, the question is who will bring an end to all this?
By now, almost everyone agrees that South African football - a sport baptised “The Beautiful Game” by its best practitioner, Pele of Brazil - is in a morass.
The sport is past being on its way to the dogs but has already become a permanent resident of the kennels with the canines.
All it needs now, is an individual, or individuals, who will take it out of the quagmire and move it forward.
This person must take it back to the heights where it once was when Bafana Bafana listed the African Cup of Nations and Orlando Pirates won the African Club Championship.
The diagnosis is out there and all that is needed is a doctor who will treat the cancer.
To elaborate on my question: Who will bring an end to the rot on South African football? It is no longer about what are the problems.
All that is needed now are solutions.
But again, do we have strong enough people to go into the core of problems facing the local game and come up with solutions?
By the look of things, the answer is a big NO.
If there were such individuals, they would have acted by now.
I find it folly to expect the current leadership of South African football come up with solutions as they have been around for quite some while now and if there had it in them to solve the problems, they would have done it by now.
Is it a lack of will power or the current leadership has become so embedded and tarnished that none of them can now come up with solutions?
If that is the case, is it not high time that they let other people come in and clean up the mess?
The most unfortunate part is that while all this is happening, the people who are suffering the most are the young players who are passionate about the game and all they want is to display their God-given talent.
But how do they do this if the playing fields are not leveled? How do they do they reach their full potential when age-cheating, poor refereeing, some of which seems more deliberate than human errors are commonplace in the game?
We will keep on complaining about lack of development in our football, but if the foundation is not properly laid out and there is no willingness at the top to eliminate all the ills bedeviling our game, South African football will never reach its full potential.
All that is needed is strong leadership that will tackle all these problems head-on.
But if we still have people who are only concerned about nursing their own positions and ensuring that they retain the perks that come with serving I the different SAFA and Premier Soccer League (PSL) committees, the status quo shall remain.S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports
journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the
biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is currently
City Press Sports Editor.
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