Igesund lifts SABC analysis
Gordon Igesund (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - I’ll admit here and now that SuperSport generally remains my first port of call when confronted by the choice between them and the SABC for live presentations of World Cup soccer matches.
Yes, the much-touted Ryan Giggs, initially intended as the Randburg juggernaut’s headline expert, has a little surprisingly scampered home early - officially, the story is to take up necessary Manchester United duty now that he is Louis van Gaal’s managerial deputy - after receiving mixed reaction at best to his punditry.
But big-budget SuperSport have nevertheless left few stones unturned to make their coverage as comprehensive and professional as possible, with John Dykes a real asset from London as visiting anchor: articulate, confident and always well prepared.
That said, I have found SABC1 studio offerings more than tolerable at times, a situation aided in no small measure by Auckland Park’s sensible (not always a virtue!) recruitment of outgoing Bafana coach Gordon Igesund just before the tournament began.
A client of Prosport International, he is still contracted to SAFA until the end of August but of course effectively dormant in national team terms as we await the naming of his successor.
Whatever your thoughts on his axing, after a stint holding one of the most poisoned of sporting chalices, his record as a club coach remains exemplary and I wouldn’t expect him to be idle for long.
And so fresh off the international soccer treadmill, why not make use of his expertise?
Igesund, unlike the guarded and more introverted Giggs, is and probably always has been suitably comfortable both using and listening to his own voice ... a good start in punditry.
I gather he has found it a relief suddenly not having to justify selections and tactics, and simply being able to become an independent analyst for purposes of World Cup fare: he’s taken to it suitably smoothly.
He’ll be in it for the remainder of the event, active most days even if he will only ever be used for one game on those where there may be more.
Igesund’s family remains based in Cape Town, but I understand he is happy to spend much time in Johannesburg for SABC purposes, given that as Bafana boss he was so often working in the Big Smoke anyway.
What does the national broadcaster pay its studio experts? It is known that guests are paid according to their gravitas or current appeal, and that some, across a range of sports, will accept a “gig” for as little as R2 000 or R3 000 per game – relatively easy money, when you think about it.
But others may want sums into five-figure territory per appearance, and I’d be surprised if Igesund didn’t fall into that category ...