Directive to get the best coach available for Bafana Bafana, regardless of cost
Don’t worry about costs in mother body’s call for a new mentor
● SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan has said he and his national executive committee (NEC) have instructed their technical committee to recommend the best available Bafana Bafana coach, regardless of cost.
Safa have been accused of not always appointing the best candidates because they could not afford their salaries. The technical committee this week evaluated the options to replace Molefi Ntseki, fired on March 31.
“We told them, ‘Don’t worry about finances. We want the best coach who can build a team for [the World Cups in] 2022 and 2026’,” Jordaan said.
He said he expects the technical committee to report their recommendations to the NEC on Friday, when a final decision might be made. Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe said the meeting may be on Saturday.
Ntseki’s sacking followed SA’s failure to
‘We want the best coach who can build a team for 2022 and 2026’
qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. Bafana have failed to reach four of the last seven Nations Cups (Afcons).
Jordaan, interviewed by Sunday Times, was evasive on several alleged deficiencies regarding Safa’s now-endangered Vision 2022, one of the aims of which was to be ranked in the top three in Africa and top 20 in the world (Bafana are currently 15th and 75th), and another to reach the 2022 World Cup.
Jordaan said after Bafana reached the 2019 Afcon quarterfinals in Egypt the disruptions of Covid-19 were the key factor in their 2021 failure.
School football once produced SA’s best talent but fell into decline. Safa took control of associate member the SA Schools Football Association (Sasfa) in 2015, pointing to under-performance where at most 5,000 out of
‘People don’t consider that Covid has put programmes more than a year back’
27,000 schools played soccer. This led to a court battle, which Safa won at arbitration in 2019, but which derailed efforts to improve schools football.
On the Sasfa matter, which took place on his watch, Jordaan said he believed it was “closed” in “2015 or 2016”. Asked if participation in schools has been increased, Jordaan said it had but could not produce figures.
One of Jordaan’s stated intentions when elected in 2013 was to resurrect the nine provincial satellites to the association’s School of Excellence. Safa has established an academy in Durban since.
Jordaan said plans are in the pipeline to turn the National Technical Centre (NTC) at Fun Valley in Johannesburg into a national academy. It was acquired in 2014 and has three excellent fields, but still apparently lacks the medical and instructional facilities envisaged at its outset.
“The School of Excellence will be the academy for Gauteng. Western Cape University has offered to host that province’s academy. People don’t consider that Covid has put programmes more than a year back.”
It was pointed out to Jordaan that, if aspects such as improving schools football, provincial academies and a national academy remain in the planning stage a year before the conclusion of Vision 2022, that might explain public frustration and lack of faith in Safa.
“But it exists in Durban, it exists in Gauteng — the national infrastructure exists, and the other provinces will come soon. That’s why I said you must understand the disruption [from Covid-19].”
Pressed that such promises were made seven years ago, when he was elected, long before Covid-19, Jordaan said he had not been in office that long. “No, no, I am not the president for seven years. [I was elected] in September 2013, and we started Vision 2022 in 2014,” he said. Jordaan was elected on September 28 2013. That makes his presidency seven years, six months and 21 days old.
Bafana Bafana’s road to the Fifa World Cup in Qatar next year will be long and hard. They are in Group G with Ghana, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.
The winner of this group will still have to play one of the nine other group winners to qualify for Qatar 2022.
Caf qualifiers for the World Cup will start in June and end with the twolegged play-offs of home and away ties in November.
All of Bafana’s Group G Fifa World Cup qualifiers, home and away
vs Zimbabwe (away) June 5-8; home: October 6-9 vs Ghana (home) June 11-14; away: October 10-12
vs Ethiopia (away) September 14; home: September 5-8