Cape Town - If the South African Football Association (SAFA) are going to sack Bafana Bafana coach, Shakes Mashaba, they should do it sooner rather than later.
Why are SAFA taking so long to pull the plug on Mashaba?
The Bafana Bafana job has been - for years - a poisoned chalice and the fate of South Africa’s current head coach is indefinite.
A reported tirade against SAFA president, Danny Jordaan, is the reason behind Mashaba’s sudden suspension despite South Africa’s 2-1 victory over Senegal in their 2018 Soccer World Cup qualifying encounter.
“This is my second life, these people have already buried me,” said Mashaba as he was caught on video minutes before his post-match interview.
SAFA CEO, Dennis Mumble, released a statement saying, "as a result of yesterday’s events‚ I was forced to place the head coach on suspension with immediate effect pending a full disciplinary hearing."
It’s been a long two weeks since Mashaba’s suspension...
'A FISH ROTS FROM THE HEAD DOWN'
I have already reported on the rumour that former Orlando Pirates head coach, Milutin Sredojevic, has been tipped to take over the reigns. However, Sredojevic took to his official Twitter account to deflect all rumours linking him to the Bafana Bafana post.
I feel for Mashaba, he is dealing with an association that are incapable of leading South Africa’s football infrastructure in the right direction.
In the last 24 years, SAFA have appointed - and sacked - 17 coaches with Mashaba already in his fourth stint as Bafana mentor.
Trott Moloto, Pitso Mosimane and Carlos Alberto Parreira have all served as Bafana Bafana coach on two occasions with Jomo Sono mentoring the senior national side on three occasions.
A statistic that still shocks me is that no past Bafana coach has stayed on for four years - the common length served as a national coach.
Bafana’s longest serving coach to date was Clive Barker (three years) and he guided the senior soccer side to their one and only Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title.
Mashaba will match Barker's three-year feat in July 2017 - if SAFA allows the coach to continue.
TIME FOR A SOLUTION
So I offer a solution to SAFA, if you are going to get rid of Mashaba, do it by month end so the replacement can start forging his own plan.
South Africa's next competitive fixture is only next year August after failing to qualify for AFCON in January hosted in Gabon.
Bafana travel to the Cape Verde Islands, just off northwest Africa on August 28. The return leg is set five days later on September 2.
Failure to qualify for Russia 2018 would be another disappointment and will affect SAFA's '2022 Vision' which was one of the reasons in letting Mashaba serve a fourth term as coach.
So to the powers that be - Jordaan, Mumble or whoever is part of the decision-making process within SAFA - let's get the ball rolling so that the national set-up can start to work towards August 2017.
And if you are going to let Mashaba off the hook after his sudden suspension, drastic changes needs to be made in order to make a success of Bafana Bafana.
Tashreeq Vardien works at Sport24 and is a paper basketball dustbin champion...
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