S'Busiso Mseleku

SAFA's logic and common sense questionable

2016-09-16 08:36
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)
Over the years I’ve always had my own struggles with the words LOGIC and COMMON SENSE.

More times than not, it beats me how people apply logic.

You should be aware now that between the time you read my last column on this platform - which was last week - zilch has happened around the Bafana Bafana coach.

The long, drawn process I predicted last week is still under way. The now toothless SAFA Technical Committee has had its pow-wow, but the National Executive Committee (NEC), the organisation’s decision-making body will only gather towards the end of the month to receive their report.

As a result, Bafana will still be guided by the same man when they tackle Burkina Faso in their opening Group D 2018 Russia Soccer World Cup qualifier match in Ouagadougou on October 8.

And this is where my issues with logic and common sense kick in.

South Africa, meaning Bafana Bafana, has under the same man, failed to qualify as one of the 16 countries that will participate in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals to be held in Gabon early next year.

This as a result of failing to emerge out of a Group that consisted of Cameroon, Gambia and Mauritania. Just the other day, Bafana were held to a 1-all draw by the same lowly Mauritania in their own backyard, the former SA football mecca, Orlando Stadium.

Now to expect Bafana to come out tops of a Group D that contains Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and Senegal while still guided by the same man, defies logic.

There were three chances to qualify for the AFCON finals, either as No 1 in the Group, second or one of the best-placed third-placed finishers - and Bafana failed dismally in all three options.

Now it is tougher to qualify for the World Cup where Africa only has five slots and only countries that top their Groups qualify.

How we - or SAFA rather - expects the team to overnight become one of the best five African teams immediately after failing to be one of the 16 that will contest AFCON 2017?

Just as Nero fiddled while Rome burned, SAFA’s dilly-dallying is costing South African football dearly.

The state that our football finds itself in today is a result of poor planning if not failure to do so.

The fact that we do not have players plying their trade in top leagues such as the English Premiership (I know people will point to the aging Steve Pienaar), the Spanish La Liga, Germany's Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A, are a pointer that our structures have failed.

As a country, we have also failed to produce coaches who are up there with the best in the world.

So even now, logic (damn that word again!) dictates that South Africa should rope in a suitable-qualified and unfortunately foreign coach to guide Bafana Bafana back to being the pride of the nation once more.

SAFA can learn a lot from the saying that failing to plan is planning for failure.

And by the way, the problem with common sense is that it’s not a very common commodity after all.

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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