S'Busiso Mseleku

Bravo Bafana as they make me eat humble pie

2016-11-15 13:05
Sport24 columnist S’Busiso Mseleku (File)

Those who have followed my writings over the years would vouch for me that I am seldom wrong ... more especially when it comes to matters football.

In fact, I would have been a millionaire by now if I got even a single dollar every time I wrote “I told you so”.

However, I called this past Saturday’s 2018 Soccer World Cup qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Senegal totally wrong.

The local boys dished one of their best performances in recent times when they beat the Group D favourites 2-1 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium. The star-studded Senegalese team that came to these shores sitting on top of the group after beating Cape Verde, were made to look ordinary by a sleek Bafana Bafana side.

The victory sees South Africa share the top with Burkina Faso who scored a 2-0 away victory at Cape Verde. Bafana are on four points and only second on goal difference as they have conceded two goals to Burkina Faso’s one.

This result has raised hopes that our beloved Bafana might just make it to the World Cup finals in Russia in two years’ time. To do this, they need to top the group.

As I was preparing to post pictures of myself on social media eating my hat and showing a newly-developed boep as a result of eating humble pie, BOOM! the South African Football Association (SAFA) dropped a statement on Sunday evening that coach, Shakes Mashaba, had been suspended.

The statement went on to say that Mashaba would not be accompanying the team to Mozambique for Tuesday’s friendly as he had to appear in front of a disciplinary committee.

Turns out that Mashaba who has perfected the art of shooting himself in the foot, allegedly told his SAFA bosses where to get off when they tried to congratulate him on the victory.

Apparently, the coach went on to accuse the SAFA suits of setting him up for failure.

In the heat of the moment, an emotional Mashaba is said to have even threatened to rearrange the face of a SAFA employee who tried to intervene with his fists.

Now, if this indeed did happen, it's unbecoming of someone in charge of a national asset such as the national team.

But as mentioned above, Mashaba has become a master in shooting himself on the foot. His vitriol has been aimed at the media in the past and this time around he seems to have gone a tad too far.

Many believe that Mashaba, who has been walking the tightrope for quite some time, might have just left the door ajar for SAFA to eventually fire him.

Many are reminded of an incident way back in 1992 where then Bafana coach, Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala who was under pressure as positive results were not forthcoming, took his frustrations on veteran journalist Sy Lerman by slapping him in the face.

This gave SAFA the opportunity they were looking for. Tshabalala was hauled in front of a DC, found guilty of that famous charge “bringing the association into disrepute” and was fired.

Mashaba’s fate now lies in the hands of the DC but many will feel that he was the architect of his downfall, should he be made to walk.

And chances are that not many will miss him.

How sad!

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 over 30 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

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.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  s’busiso mseleku  |  soccer
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