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Safa's latest moves are only adding to confusion

By unknown | Apr 30, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Molefi Oliphant - who vacates his post as head of our federation, the South African Football Association, next year - was wrong to replace a Brazilian with another as a Bafana Bafana coach, methinks.

Molefi Oliphant - who vacates his post as head of our federation, the South African Football Association, next year - was wrong to replace a Brazilian with another as a Bafana Bafana coach, methinks.

And for him to say the same Carlos Alberto Parreira should remain as part of the furniture by being Bafana's technical advisor to the controversially appointed head coach, Joel Santana, is rather stretching his luck too far.

If Santana really has football brains and is a charismatic chap, as we are told, I don't see why he should be remote-controlled by Parreira in ensuring that there is continuity with the "Parreira philosophy" for 2010.

I have reluctantly accepted Oliphant's explanation that it was out of desperation that they asked him to name a successor. He said it was because of the unusual situation Safa found themselves in due to Parreira's sudden departure.

But with Parreira having also convinced his assistants (Brazilian Jairo Leal and Pitso Mosimane) to remain with the team in order to help Santana in guaranteeing that his philosophy is kept alive, it seems there was nothing to worry about that warranted him being appointed a technical advisor.

The fact is that Parreira, like other foreigners who came before him, knew nothing about our soccer.

Granted Parreira, while being one of the Fifa technical experts at the 2002 World Cup finals, was undoubtedly impressed by Bafana's technical ability then under the mentorship of Jomo Sono. However, that does not qualify him to be an expert on our football.

Yes, we need a technical advisor, Mr Oliphant, but it cannot be Parreira.

As we speak the country is divided to such an extent that there are subtle threats in the air that come next year in the Fifa Confederation Cup, crowds could be affected.

Call me an alarmist if you will but I am worried.

I am also concerned that the government is questioning the legality of employing another foreigner to replace Parreira. This comes amidst accusations that Safa continue to be reluctant in empowering their own when it comes to Bafana's top posts.

Once more inside sources say Safa's "ceremonial" technical committee never played a role in the latest Bafana coaching saga, as was the case with the hiring of Parreira.

It's also worrying to notice that Fifa seem to have a lot to say in favour of Parreira's indirect involvement in our team's affairs.

Could this be a question of "he who pays the piper calls the tune"?

I wonder if the same Fifa has already lined up a replacement in case journeyman Santana finds the new job rather too big a task.

But for the sake of peace and stability let me save both Fifa and Safa the blushes by suggesting the following:

l One - let us immediately fill the vacuum created by Khabo Zondo's departure by replacing him with Gordon Igesund;

l Two - personal clashes aside, let's appoint Jomo Sono as technical advisor to Santana. The latter comes with the same charisma for bonding with players, including the experience of being a technical advisor to the Bafana Bafana team that won the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon). He is still the only South African coach to have played in the final of the Afcon away from home and Sono is also the only Bafana mentor to have won a match in the World Cup finals; and

l Three - Ted Dumitru needs to be returned to the Safa technical committee and, of course, the federation must get rid of some dead wood in that committee. Names that could be added should include the likes of Farouk Khan and Boebie Solomons.

By the way, Dumitru is not a "so-called" soccer expert, as one Safa wannabe official said while trying in vain to sound relevant the other day. Dumitru is a football expert par excellence.

Former star Kaizer Chiefs defender Ntsie "Teargas" Maphike is one of those who can proudly attest to this.

Mr Oliphant, let's unite this football-mad country, which is in a state of confusion as we speak.

We need this as a swansong from you.

Since you won't be the Safa president in 2010 allow me to leave you with this quote by Adolph Hitler: "If you win you need not explain... but if you lose you should not be there to explain."

I am very worried.


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