S'Busiso Mseleku

Hey SAFA, learn from Ethiopia

2013-06-28 14:24
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)
South African football administrators could learn a thing or two from the Ethiopian Football Federation.

Following the blunder that saw the country fielding Minyahile Beyene in a 2014 Soccer World Cup qualifier against Botswana on June 8, an incident that might still see the country docked three points, they have fired Secretary General Ashenafi Ejegu.

This happened at the federation’s meeting last Sunday.

The player, who should have served a suspension in that match against Botswana as he was on two yellow cards, also played against South Africa in Ethiopia’s 2-1 victory.

At the same meeting - which is said to have been quite heated - the executive turned down a resignation request from deputy president Birhanu Kebede.

Even president Sahilu Gebremariam, the federation’s president, said he was likely to submit his own resignation, saying: “This was a massive blunder so we all should have resigned. But we have responsibilities ahead so we voted to stay until September.”

There is taking responsibility for your action and being accountable.

Our leaders can learn a thing or two the action of these gentlemen rather than sweeping matters under the carpet.

As things stand here in South Africa, we are still waiting for the South African Football Association (SAFA) to take action about the blunder that led to Bafana Bafana’s failure to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

How many times have we been told that heads will roll, only for nothing to happen?

In fact, as soon as you hear that here, you know that nothing is going to happen.

There is no sense of responsibility as people get away with murder and are not held accountable for their deeds.

This is one of the reasons why SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani had the nerve to start discussing Gordon Igesund’s future in the media after the 2-1 loss to Ethiopia and none of his executives called him to order.

This is unethical. The World Cup qualifiers only end with the match against Botswana in September.

Raising questions about Igesund’s contract now, is similar to examiners asking a student to a meeting to discuss whether you have passed or not while there is still one more paper to write.

The procedure is that Igesund should hand in a technical report to the technical committee.

This committee should then study the report, make recommendations and present the report plus their recommendations to the SAFA national executive committee (NEC) which is the supreme decision-making organ.

It would be nice to have a football leadership that takes responsibility for their blunders as the Ethiopians have done.

However, all we hear now is that people want to be voted back into the NEC so that they can implement their plans in the next four years.

This is quite shallow because if you want people to vote you back into your position, you should be telling them what you have one in the past four years.

And sadly the painful truth is that the current SAFA NEC has done next to nothing in the past four years and most of them don’t deserve to retain their positions when the elections come around in September.

We need responsible leaders who will bite the bullet and take our football out of the quagmire and back to the top where it once was when we won the Afcon in 1996 and qualified for the 1998 World Cup in France.

Our football needs accountable leaders or else we are going nowhere, fast.

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.

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:    safa  |  s'busiso mseleku  |  soccer


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