Sunday Times

Danny Jordaan and Co must go!

Enough is enough! We are gatvol of the suits at Safa House

- By SAZI HADEBE hadebes@sundaytime­

● SA football has been moving, but the problem is the direction in which it’s been galloping.

For well over two decades there has been no end in sight of a solution from the suits, or more appropriat­ely clowns, running our football in the cushy, shiny and highly ventilated offices of the SA Football Associatio­n (Safa) in the south of Johannesbu­rg.

The problems in SA soccer, which Safa this week boldly denied and dismissed through its CEO Tebogo Motlanthe, have always been suppressed, covered and massaged through the changing of Bafana Bafana coaches — 27 since July 1992.

That’s 20 different people, given that one Shakes Mashaba has made as many as three returns — as if that will provide a cure to all our ills.

The tragedy of it all is that like it happened this week, as scribes writing about football, myself included, we’ve failed the nation in challengin­g and outing the real culprits. And we all know who they are.

The changing of coaches has never yielded any positive results where it matters most: the field of play.

And yet as media we keep asking Safa to fire and give us a new, better coach. Not much is consistent­ly said about what the Safa executives are really doing in those offices and why we see poor or no implementa­tion of their programmes, including the much-touted Vision 2022.

The change of fortunes for Bafana will not start with whoever will be deemed fit by Safa to replace Molefi Ntseki, who was hired late in 2019 for one real reason — his inexperien­ce at this level was going to make it easy for Safa to manage and manipulate him.

But more importantl­y, Ntseki was handsomely affordable for an organisati­on which had almost depleted all its financial resources by the end of 2019.

Compare this changing of coaches at this blistering pace to the fact that the current Safa president, Danny Jordaan, who went to ground this week to convenient­ly avoid all questions after Bafana’s failure to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, is only the sixth Safa president since 1991.

Successful football nations such as Germany don’t change coaches like underwear as Safa does. From 1936 to 1998, the Germans had five coaches. The current coach, Joachim Low, who has already won the Fifa World Cup (2014), has been there since


With Safa it’s the other way round. It is the coaches who bear the brunt. Coaches are Safa’s easy prey and scapegoats whenever things go awry with the senior football national team.

It was perhaps going to be understand­able if Safa had a concrete plan to churn out good players and these coaches were merely failing to coach. But no, all these coaches fail because there’s simply no proper football developmen­t plan in the country and there’s no adequate support from Safa for their coaches who are operating in a continent where it is difficult to travel to places like Sudan.

With everyone handed the Bafana job, from Brazil’s Carlos Alberto Parreira to Pitso Mosimane, the expectatio­n has been to produce some form of miracle and magic, akin to resuscitat­ing something that’s already dead and buried.

Jordaan, who will turn 70 in September, has occupied different lofty positions at Safa since its formation in 1991 and has been at the helm of the organisati­on since 2013. He will probably seek another five-year term in

2022 because no one younger and wiser has been groomed, and seemingly deliberate­ly so.

The problem with removing Jordaan is who will come in the interim, seeing that the elections are going to be next year. If there were to be an interim structure it will be the same NEC which together with Jordaan saddled SA with Ntseki.

If Jordaan were to walk, he will effectivel­y rule from the grave until the elections. Morever, where will the new leaders to take SA football forward come from?

Jordaan probably has a belief that SA football, which he accounts for only when it suits him, will never function without him.

This reporter asked for an audience with Jordaan this week, but despite the request being sent as early as Tuesday morning, it was turned down for no good reason. “President

is not available,” a message from Safa’s communicat­ions manager Dominic Chimhavi read.

A press conference was called by Safa on Wednesday, but again Jordaan showed everyone the middle finger, hiding behind a resolution, which they claimed was taken by an executive committee, that only Motlanthe and NEC member and the chairperso­n of Safa’s technical committee, Jack Maluleke, would talk to the press.

Answer no critical questions

We’ve failed the nation in challengin­g and outing the real culprits

The circus that was Wednesday’s presser was designed to make unsuspecti­ng beings think Safa cares and were doing something to clean up their mess. It’s been their modus operandi for more than two decades: answer no critical questions, but if you fire the coach everyone would have forgotten what had really happened at the scene of the crime by the time a new one is unveiled.

That’s how Ntseki came into our lives and it is how the next one will be ushered in.

And by the time the 28th Bafana coach is named, everyone would have forgotten they ever called for Jordaan and his executives to go following Bafana’s 2-0 loss to Sudan in Khartoum last Sunday.

But the difficult part is that the new coach will be expected to perform some miracle and take Bafana to next year’s World Cup in Qatar. If by any chance he qualifies the team, Jordaan and no one else, including the coach, will be the first to gloat.

We remain as guilty as those Safa suits

But if he fails, he will follow Ntseki and 19 others into Safa’s dustbin that is now overflowin­g with those they’ve used to buy their time in the office.

This is how Jordaan and others in the bloated Safa NEC have been rolling for close to 30 years that had an early promise when Bafana won their first ever Afcon they participat­ed in as hosts in 1996. Since then, it’s been downhill with three Fifa World Cup appearance­s (1998, 2002 and 2010) all resulting in first-round exits.

It’s time SA media, especially my colleagues whom I write football with, embark on a solid and consistent plan to demand that Jordaan and his cohorts move and give space to others fit to run our football.

If we keep quiet and keep accepting new Bafana coaches who are thrown to the wolves, we remain as guilty as those Safa suits.

Coaches are Safa’s easy prey and scapegoats when things go awry

 ?? Picture: Gallo Images ?? CENTRE OF THE STORM
Molefi Ntseki, sacked this week, with Safa president Danny Jordaan at a Bafana training session last month.
Picture: Gallo Images CENTRE OF THE STORM Molefi Ntseki, sacked this week, with Safa president Danny Jordaan at a Bafana training session last month.

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