Time for young SA soccer administrators to rise and shine

2017-10-22 06:08
S'Busiso Mseleku.

Johannesburg - Allow me to sound like a broken record for which I am, perhaps unfortunately, not going to apologise.

Not only has the passing on of veteran football administrator Bra Dan Leboa left a huge void, but once more it has raised the question: Where are the younger administrators who will take the game to the next level?

For quite some time, we have heard about some young and bright talent who were being groomed to take over the reins from the current, crop of ageing football bosses.

Hold positions

However, I can count several – the likes of Pat Malabela and Phindani Nene, to mention just two – who came into this club ownership thing with lightning speed, only to disappear over the horizon soon after.

Looking at the audience gathered at the Premier Soccer League (PSL) auditorium for Bra Dan’s memorial service on Thursday, I could count a few quinquagenarians who either own clubs or hold positions at Safa and the league.

The majority were sexagenarians and even septuagenarians.

It has been said in the past – sometimes even with witticism – that there is no retirement age in football administration.

It is as open-ended as the heavyweight division in boxing, where a boxer can weigh anything from 90kg upwards.

It seems the same applies in football: people can be in positions until they die.

Innovative ideas

One could count a number of soccer officials who are still occupying elected positions and some even still employed, who are way over 60 years of age which, in many professions, is regarded as the official retirement age.

Why, even Bra Dan had come out of retirement to assist with some work at the league shortly before his departure from this world.

I think our football needs the vibrancy that Kaizer Motaung – now 73 – brought into the game when he broke away from Orlando Pirates in 1970 to form Kaizer Chiefs.

Revolutionise local game

We need the innovative ideas that PSL chair Irvin Khoza (69) introduced at Pirates as secretary in the early 1980s and in his second coming in the early 1990s.

What about the arrogance and strongheadedness that Jomo Sono (62) brought with him after buying Highlands Park and renaming them Jomo Cosmos at the beginning of the 1983 season?

We are living in a world that has seen entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and genius Steve Jobs turn the way things are done so dramatically that the world is no longer what we knew it to be.

Why can’t we have such young football administrators revolutionise the local game in such a way that we stand agog and say, “we’ve never seen this before”.

The thing about young people is they are usually energetic, fearless and full of zest.

If all these ingredients are well-channelled, individuals are capable of achieving some miraculous stuff.

The South African game is faced with a number of challenges with the major one being dwindling crowds.

More entertaining

Why can’t we have young and vibrant administrators come up with fresh, novel ideas to boost attendance at soccer matches?

The game on the field has also become static, which is one of the obvious reasons for the decline in bums on seats.

Let’s see some new ideas on how South African players approach the game and make it more entertaining.

We can’t have the Soweto Derby between Pirates and Chiefs being the only soccer match capable of filling up the FNB Stadium.

We need to reach a stage where every cup final is played in front of a capacity crowd, no matter which two clubs contest it.

This is a challenge and a gauntlet that I throw down for young football administrators.

It is time to rise and shine!

Follow me on Twitter @Sbu_Mseleku

Read more on:    safa  |  psl  |  johannesburg  |  soccer


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