Bafana Bafana

Shakes should use his lifeline to save Bafana from sinking

2016-09-18 05:18
Timothy Molobi

Those who have always maintained that the country shall Safa have been proven right.

Indecisiveness, playing to the gallery, cowardice and no balls.

This is the best way to describe the SA Football Association (Safa) in the wake of Shakes Mashaba’s failure to qualify Bafana Bafana for Gabon in 2017.

Anyway, this is what happens when our football is run by politicians who are – more often than not – good at shooting in the dark and throwing a curve ball.

Exactly a fortnight ago, Safa president Danny Jordaan reintroduced himself to the soccer fraternity by proclaiming boldly that Mashaba’s tenure would be reviewed.

“This must be the end of the journey, not the beginning, because this cannot lead us into the 2018 campaign, where we will play the giants of the African continent,” Jordaan told SuperSport TV.

His utterances came after Bafana’s unimpressive draw against Mauritania.

This game followed a performance in the Afcon qualifiers that was below par.

As it turned out, the former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor was playing with the nation’s emotions.

He knew people were gatvol with the team and the only thing to do was to hype up the situation.

With emotions running high, many just wanted to know Mashaba’s fate.

Jordaan then played to the gallery and whispered sweet nothings to our ears. A week later, the leadership is still mum.

Why go on national television and say things you know you cannot implement?

This was the only way Jordaan could introduce himself to the football fraternity after his failure to keep the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

If anything, the leadership should have made the decision back in April, when it was apparent that the team would not go to Gabon.

But they waited until after the qualifiers to act, or should I say to wake up to reality. Now it is too late to make any decisions, and this will come back to bite them.

Next month, Bafana start the crucial 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with a daunting trip to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.

Those of us who have been there know it is not for the faint-hearted, so changing the coaching personnel now won’t make business sense because you cannot take a novice there.

But it should not have been allowed to go this far. Or are we going to see another Pitso Mosimane case?

If I may refresh your mind: Mosimane was fired after just one game: a 1-1 draw against Ethiopia in Bafana’s 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifier.

“Drawing in the last 15 minutes of the game [against Ethiopia] made us realise we had to act now,” Safa said at the time.

Steve Komphela was installed as a caretaker coach and managed another 1-1 stalemate with Botswana in Gaborone.

Back in 2014, Safa’s emergency committee held a meeting “to evaluate the performance of Bafana Bafana as a direct result of the first 2014 World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Ethiopia held on Sunday”.

Back then, the meeting made the decision to part ways with Mosimane.

Fast forward to 2016: the technical committee meets to discuss the Bafana report after failure to qualify for the Gabon tournament, but the outcome is totally different as Mashaba is given the green light to continue.

The question is: can he be trusted to take us to Russia after he failed take us to Gabon when he had more than one chance to do so, with not only the group winners qualifying but also the best three runners-up?

In a group that consisted of minnows Gambia, Mauritania and the not-so-difficult Cameroon, Bafana were expected to have it easy, but found the going tough from the onset.

Mashaba was to blame for the team’s failure to qualify, firstly because of his team selection and secondly because of his failure to do thorough homework on his opponents.

Now with only the winners going to Russia, it will be even more difficult to negotiate a passage in a group consisting of Burkina Faso, Senegal and Cape Verde.

I just hope Mashaba uses his lifeline to good effect as not many get a second chance in life. Otherwise, it will be a case of should have, could have and would have for Safa.

Follow me on Twitter @TimspiritMolobi


Read News24’s Comments Policy


How far will Bafana Bafana progress in this year’s AFCON tournament?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.