Two wrongs don’t make a right. How many times have we heard this saying? Endless times, of course. But it means nothing to some people.
What we witnessed this past week between Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane and Bafana Bafana mentor Shakes Mashaba can only be described as laughable.
Is that the way two accomplished coaches are supposed to behave in public? Methinks not.
For those who are not aware of what I am referring to, it’s Mosimane’s outburst after the MTN8 match with SuperSport United at Loftus Stadium.
He told a post-match press conference he had hoped his players would have been excused from Bafana matches as they have a hectic schedule coming up.
Mosimane said he had set a precedent when he was the Bafana coach by excusing Orlando Pirates players. He expected Mashaba to do the same.
But in a surprise rejoinder, the temperamental Mashaba hit back the following Monday, ahead of Bafana’s match with Mauritania, saying (and rightfully so) such issues should not be deliberated in public.
He reminded the Sundowns mentor that his door was open for such considerations and he didn’t see why Mosimane opted for grandstanding, rather than talking to him in private.
My question then is, is this the way coaches are supposed to behave in public?
Without pointing fingers at who is right or wrong, my emphatic answer is a big no!
The two are correct to raise the issue – but they addressed it in the wrong way, although it was good for the media as it made for an interesting read and a great talking point.
Instead of playing to the gallery, the two ought to have sorted this out behind closed doors. It now appears as if they are operating at different levels and there is no harmony.
I would have thought the lines of communication among the trainers are clear, and they can debate issues away from the eyes and ears of the media.
But, clearly, I was wrong.
Like I stated earlier, they were both right, but it is the platform they used to address their issues that caught me by surprise.
Mind you, not long ago, Mosimane was advocating his players being included in the Bafana team.
He suggested Mashaba should look no further than Sundowns if he wanted players who could go to war on the continent.
But alas, the same “Jingles” made a U-turn and complained that many players from his club had been called up for national duty for a “dead rubber” against Mauritania and a “friendly” against Egypt on Tuesday in the Nelson Mandela Challenge.
“We hope Bra Shakes will be lenient towards us. It’s a friendly game against Egypt, and against Mauritania it’s a dead rubber.
“Let’s be honest, if you win or you don’t win, it doesn’t matter. And Gordon Igesund did it also – he never selected Pirates players. So I hope Bra Shakes will also understand.”
Granted, Mosimane was correct in this regard as Sundowns have a tight schedule, which includes the CAF Champions League trip to Zambia next week, the MTN8 and the league fixtures.
What irks me is that the Bafana squad was announced a fortnight ago and he had more than a week to raise this issue with the powers that be, rather than to go on national television and complain.
Why wait until after the game to air your views on the selection of a team when you had time to do so beforehand? A simple call would have settled the matter and no one would have known about it.
Not one to be outdone, Mashaba also played to the gallery in his response.
“Unfortunately, nothing has come to us. We are open. We are operating with an open-door policy. If there is anyone who wants to talk to us, they can come to us and say it.
“But that is what has happened, and I am disappointed because we operate with an open-door policy. Anyone who has got something to talk to us about, we are always available. If they want to request something, let them send it and then we will sit down and deal with it.”
This was a sober response, but things should have not have gotten this far in the first place. A sober approach is needed in dealing with emotional issues.