Safa puts SA off pitch
IT'S always a matter of one step forward and two steps back for our crisis-ridden football.
All the good things that happen in the beautiful game tend to be erased so quickly and so easily. Both the SA Football Association and the Premier Soccer League have their fair share of these failures.
Not so long ago, we were looking forward to a competitive league which would draw fans in droves at the start of the season.
The player transfer window period saw a number of highly competitive bids being made for top stars plying their trade domestically and internationally. Business demonstrated their commitment to the PSL, pouring millions into sponsorship deals.
Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs were the biggest but not the only recipients of the largesse. Even PSL rookies Chippa United got a slice of Vodacom's generosity.
So far, the competitiveness of the league cannot be questioned, thanks in part to the Q-Innovation announced by PSL chairman Irvin Khoza - minus the attempt to convert journalists into betting sangomas for soccer games.
But all the good things the PSL has done is being soiled by the sudden rise of hooliganism at stadiums. Trouble is that this kind of destructive behaviour involves the big teams. It does not bode well for our football.
The PSL needs to show rather than speak about its commitment to deal with the problem. The last thing we want is our stadiums becoming no-go zones.
That's certainly a classic case of "how not" to grow football.
Safa also has the capacity to disappoint.
While we celebrate the launch of the countdown to the Africa Cup of Nations games in January, it has since emerged that Safa has failed to identify projects to be sponsored by Fifa.
Fifa recently announced a R2-billion fund from which countries with clearly defined projects could benefit.
Thanks to Safa's ineptitude, South Africa is missing the boat. And according to Safa's chief executive Robin Petersen a project plan is not yet complete.
Why does it take long to draft a plan of this nature?
Whenever South Africa's football standards come out for criticism, blame is always placed on lack of infrastructure for development initiatives.
More often, lack of resources is cited as a reason for failure to develop the infrastructure.
And yet when an opportunity presents itself to secure funds to do this, those who run our football decide to twiddle their thumbs - until the last hour.
To put our football on a winning path, we need to rid it of this lacklustre attitude.
We have to be competitive on and off the pitch.