S'Busiso Mseleku

Igesund should go - now!

2014-03-25 13:04
S’Busiso Mseleku (File)
Gordon Igesund and the South African Football Association (SAFA) should just part ways.

This would be for the good of South African football.

It is only a child that cannot see that - as they say in the divorce court - their marriage has broken beyond repair.

The story in the Sunday Times that Igesund might not see out his contract that ends in July, was yet another indication that there is actually no love lost between the two parties.

You may ask why I say the two parties should just part ways. I see no reason why they should wait for July as I don’t see this benefitting anyone between them.

The suggestion – made in the Sunday newspaper - that Shakes Mashaba might be in charge of the Bafana Bafana team that will travel to Australia in May, is not new.

Even before the friendly match against Brazil, it was whispered that the national team would be guided by a caretaker coach at this game. While Igesund was eventually in charge, his body language told a story.

Gone was the verve and enthusiasm we witnessed in the first match against the two nations in Sao Paolo late last year.

Parting ways immediately, would save SAFA the time and money they are about to spend in the investigation on what happened at the African Nations Championship tournament in January where Bafana Bafana were eliminated in the first round.

There were serious allegations that among other things, Igesund tried to influence players to demand more bonuses from SAFA, It was also alleged that he had left captain Itumeleng Khune out of Bafana’s ultimate Group match against Nigeria while the player could play.

Igesund has said that he followed advice from the medical team.

One would think that the idea to form the sub-committee led by top Cape Town legal eagle, Norman Arendse, was to get to the bottom of the whole matter and fire the coach if he was found guilty.

But as the saying goes, justice delayed is justice denied, the matter – typical of SAFA – has taken so long that it has lost its impact.

How will calling the 16 reported witnesses and having a sitting on April 2, 3, 4 and 5 help SAFA. Let’s say the committee presents to the National Executive Committee (NEC) a guilty verdict on April 15.

Will, Igesund then be fired?

If so, what would be the difference of firing him then and at the end of his contract in July?

Parting ways now, would offer SAFA the opportunity to build a new team starting with the match against Australia and the one against Iran.

They should start building a new team with the majority of players from the Under-23 squad as South Africa is not going to the World Cup in Brazil in June.

They should start now building a team for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations as well as the 2017 version leading up to the 2018 World Cup.

Procrastination is a serious thief of time and dilly-dallying in building a new team with younger players and discarding the tired and tested that have not won this country anything will cause some serious damage going into the future.

Even if SAFA are to appoint a foreign coach after the Brail World Cup, as speculation has been that they are eyeing Carlos Quiroz, it would help to start laying the foundation now rather than have him start from scratch when he or whoever is appointed, arrives.

SAFA and Igesund, should just do South African football as huge favour and just terminate their marriage.

By the way, PSL side, Moroka Swallows must be watching developments with a keen interest as they feel Igesund left an unfinished job with them. They have struggled since he left after taking them to second finish on the log.

They have struggled since he left and they are languishing on the lower rungs of the league.

So it’s not like he will e unemployed and anyway, with his CV pointing out four PSL titles with different clubs, many will soon be knocking at his door as soon as he became available.
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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