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Safa's marketing leaves a lot to be desired

By unknown | Jun 12, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

The marketing and media departments of the South African Football Association need to be wakker now and not tomorrow.

The marketing and media departments of the South African Football Association need to be wakker now and not tomorrow.

This week only, nothing of interest has been coming forth for public consumption even though our women's team stands a big chance of creating history with their visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo this weekend.

Our under-20 women's national side, guided by coach Anna Monate, is likely to emulate Amajita's Class of 1996 who played in a continental final before qualifying for a world championship slot.

Basetsana go to DRC with a 3-1 advantage, hoping to book a flight to the Women's Under-20 World Cup in Chile, come November.

By the way, no other women's side from Mzansi ever represented us in an official world event.

Granted, with Bafana Bafana's stories around the coaching headache and some stuttering performances by the team, the media department must be feeling overstretched, if indeed it is.

However, that's not good enough a reason to leave other teams at the mercy of the media.

We don't see this type of disregard when, say, the rugby, athletics or cricket junior teams take part in international competitions.

On the marketing side, support around Bafana Bafana in particular is not at all well handled by the marketing division.

Bafana have not been in our faces or on our minds, as one would have expected since the team rocked the world in the mid-1990s.

Look, I have always been stingy when it came to heaping praise on Abdul Bhamjee, one time PRO of the National Soccer League, about him "filling up" stadiums. But one thing for certain that Bhamjee did well was putting the NSL on the tongues and minds of football fans.

NSL bumper stickers, T-shirts and playing cards (quality bicycle type) were available all over. But we are still to see this being done for our beloved Bafana Bafana.

You can't therefore wonder why the sparse crowds when this team plays, as was the case in Atteridgeville where they hammered Equatorial Guinea 4-1 last Saturday.

No doubt, fans follow winning teams and it is a fact that Bafana have not been winning consistently. Yet this is not an excuse for Safa's marketing department to treat our national side with some disdain.

Bafana Bafana are not some smallernyana club from Limpopo called Crocodile Leopards.

Only three weeks ago iSihlangu supporters, all 15 of them, were loud enough to boo our team when it trooped onto the pitch. Some players in the squad looked visibly astonished by the booing.

If you have doubts ask Bryce Moon, who was among those who turned their heads in disbelief.

Even the small crowd of South Africans, who were the opposite of the vibrant Swaziland soccer fans because of the cold weather, also looked a bit abash in Germiston.

Mzion Mofokeng, Gladys Gailey and Sadaam Maake were there chatting about this and that. Bra Collins (Nxumalo) was also present just three rows behind the trio.

Clearly, Safa cannot depend on these well known fans adinfinitum to mobilise support, because age is not on their side any more.

Sports Indaba says: "Phambili Bafana [against Sierra Leone] and good luck to Basetsana."

Allow me to conclude on a sombre note.

"Come on, you're disturbing my trail of thought."

This would be one of the special quotes from our late sports sub editor, Nicholas Modise, every time he realised that a conversation he had started was becoming rowdy.

Streetwise Nick was a naughty chap yet a brilliant sub editor who knew almost everything about sport.

What a wonderful fellow to work with. Go well Msawawa! O ne o sa tla mo Johane go tlo jewa!


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