Bafana Bafana

Moosa hits out at SA soccer's top brass

2017-09-18 14:12
Smiley Moosa (Twitter -

Cape Town - Smiley Moosa, South African soccer's proclaimed "rebel with a cause", who defied apartheid by playing in the NFL under the name of Arthur Williams, says SAFA's "Vision 2022" policy epitomises a bankrupt approach and asks "why must we wait five years to achieve what has already been achieved in the past?"

"The imminent failure of South Africa to qualify for the World Cup once again," says the forthright Moosa, "should effectively constitute a vote of no confidence in SAFA. Instead they are behaving as though nothing has happened."

Moosa, a star of the original Mamelodi Sundowns team in the 1960s and 1970s and still an active footballer at the age of 65, points to South Africa's monumental triumph in the 1996 African Nations Cup - a matter of four years after the lifting of FIFA's ban of the country - as well as the qualification for the World Cup Finals in 1998 and 2002.

"That's a long, painful 15 years ago since South Africa last went through the World Cup qualifying process successfully," he points out, "with automatic participation in the 2010 World Cup only achieved by virtue of being the host nation.

"Vision 2022 is no more than a smokescreen," insists Moosa. "What we need is urgent and immediate action at SAFA level. At this rate, when 2022 arrives those in power will be talking about Vision 2028."

Moosa's solution?  A concerted, immediate shake-up of South African soccer at player and administrative level.

"South African soccer has better facilities than any country in Africa and at least as much ingrained talent. Yet we are wallowing with poor world and African rankings, with many countries on the continent achieving better results.

"It hurts to recall we were among the best soccer nations in Africa at international level 20 years ago, but now we are talking about reaching a similar level in 2022."

And the outspoken Moosa reserved his final salvo for his former club, Sundowns, recalling how 10 supporters of the club were killed in a motor accident 50 years ago on their way to a game in Klerksdorp.

"We recently held a memorial service for those who were killed so tragically," said Moosa, "and extended an invitation for Sundowns club president, Patrice Motsepe, or another representative of the club, to be present.

"To this day, more than a month after the event, we have not as much as had a word in response," added the indomitable rebel with a cause. "But I suppose that is only another example of the blasé attitude in our soccer."

Read more on:    safa  |  bafana bafana  |  sy lerman  |  soccer


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