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Attack on Benni justified?

2010-06-02 09:30
Dear Editor,

Now that the dust has settled after the non-selection of Benni McCarthy and the columns and letters have been published containing so much vitriol aimed at vilifying Benni, certain questions need to be addressed.

Whilst never claiming to be a Benni apologist, is this attack on him as a person justified and is he solely to be blamed for the current situation? It would be helpful to take a critical look at those who over the years have administered football in South Africa.

It appears that a cabal comprising of club owners and officials based primarily in Gauteng has deemed football in SA to be their private fiefdom.

One needs only to look at evidences of interference when it comes to the selection of coaches and teams alike. The disarray that manifested itself each time SA participated in major tournaments. The double-speak that existed in terms of communication with clubs and more so with those overseas-based players. The cronyism that has become endemic with the appointment of technical squads, team assistants and the blatant incompetency that plays itself out continually.

It is in the context of this comedy of errors or circus called South African football that Benni was required to make decisions about his participation in the national arena. The conundrum that he found himself with was, "do I jeopardise a promising career in club football or do I jeopardise it by availing myself for an association that cannot get its house in order?"

Whilst acknowledging the honour it is to be representing one's country, was it worth the sacrifice? The question remains: is the very personal attack on Benni justified, or does part of this debacle lie at the feet of a organisation that is so bereft of any form of structure so that the choice of club or country becomes a no-brainer?

Derek Ronnie

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