Johannesburg - With the World Cup in Russia done and dusted, focus reverts to domestic football.
For many, sobering up from the hangover will come as a sad reminder that South African football is not where we would love it to be.
A number of reasons and excuses have been forwarded and made about why the domestic game just does not reach its full potential.
Given the facilities South Africa boasts, it is not unreasonable for followers to expect it to be among the best – if not in the world, at least on the continent.
However, Bafana Bafana and the brand (don’t even mention quality) of football dished up week in and week out by PSL clubs are a collective disappointment. Over the years, South African football has been similar to a secondhand car that promises so much but delivers very little.
There have been flashes of brilliance here and there, such as the 1995 Orlando Pirates squad that won the CAF Champions League, and the Class of 1996 that lifted the Africa Cup of Nations trophy.
However, such achievements have been sporadic rather than consistent.
So, how can South African football be fixed?
Well, let’s start at the top.
Safa and the PSL are the two main bodies in charge of the game in this country.
The former is the national football governing body (custodians), while the latter is the professional wing.
For starters, the fraught relationship between Safa president Danny Jordaan and PSL chair Irvin Khoza is not doing South African football any good.
The cat and mouse game they have been playing for decades by showing a united front in public, and then starting with their shenanigans as soon as the cameras are removed, must come to an end.
At best, their relationship has been what isiZulu speakers term “ikhohlisana ihlomile”. Their outward tolerance of each other masks deep enmity.
Their recent spat, which saw Jordaan allegedly lay charges against Khoza, and the latter call a press conference to distance himself from whatever charges, is just one of many confrontations between the two.
It is doing South African football no good, more so because each of the two giant figures has a group of cheerleaders who do nothing but fuel the fires.
I can hear some say “le, yahlula no Mandela (even Mandela couldn’t solve this one)”.
So what must happen?
At 70 (Khoza) and 66 (Jordaan), both men are at an age when they must be mature enough to be able to sort this out between them once and for all.
I doubt they would love to be remembered as people who divided South African football instead of taking it to a higher level.
It’s time they seriously pondered the kind of legacy they would like to leave.
If needs be, some powerful individuals (such as The Elders) must drag the pair together, kicking and screaming, and drum sense into their heads.
This would be a first step to take South African football to a higher level.
A Khoza-Jordaan united front can do wonders, as we saw when they brought the 2010 World Cup to South Africa.
Once united, their respective executives at Safa and PSL would start working together instead of against each other.
Both structures have some brilliant men and women whose combined efforts can do wonders for local football.
This would result in a smooth relationship between Bafana Bafana and PSL clubs, and put to bed the issue of club versus country.
As things stand, it appears that Safa and the PSL are in competition. This should not be so as the two organisations serve different mandates, albeit operate in the same space.
This space is big enough for both to thrive.
My message is: Madoda nikhulile manje. Ake niziphathe kahle!
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