Safa, Parreira singing a totally different tune

The South African Football Association has spoken.

The South African Football Association has spoken.

Just like the ANC in Limpopo the other day.

The last time around Sports Indaba was a bit confused.

So were a lot of others.

Some may deny it. They have done so to me in private.

Sometimes talking can get one into trouble. So I understand when people think their silence is golden, even on issues of national interest, like Bafana Bafana.

According to a report in this newspaper on Tuesday, Safa will be looking for the ultimate at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana.

"The ultimate is to win it," the report quoted Safa president Molefi Oliphant as saying.

Sports Indaba has no reason not to believe the story. The writer has impeccable credentials.

What worries one, though, is who else knows this?

The coach of the senior national team, one Carlos Alberto Parreira, doesn't seem to be on the same page as his boss.

That is if one goes along with what he has been saying as far as that tournament is concerned. He has even gone as far as to predict that Ghana's Black Stars are his favourites to lift the continental trophy.

Parreira has told us his mandate is to deliver a world-class team for the 2010 Fifa World Cup here at home.

That, to him, means anything in between is part of preparing that team.

Results don't matter.

Some have urged us to support him. Support him in doing what, you may ask.

Perhaps now that we know what is expected of him and the team, we may start doing so.

Oliphant told a Sowetan Extra Time function that "I don't see any reason why we should not win it [the Afcon]".

Whether we share the same sentiments or not, is neither here nor there.

What we had always argued about is what emotions we should bring along when the tournament is played from January 20 to February 10.

Last time around we spoke about schizophrenia being a problem in the Bafana Bafana and Safa camps.

We were worried that the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing.

Now that this problem has been addressed, we hope to hear from the coach.

He should have done so yesterday, already. Otherwise doing so after February may not be such a good idea.

Some of us may not be in a forgiving mood by then. It is known that we have very short fuses.

Like the guy who reads our stories and gets our interviewees to deny them on his radio station.

Anyway, he is Irish.

Why he didn't call the reporter who wrote the story is beyond us. A basic journalistic rule, getting both sides of the story, was overlooked.

A classic case of not letting the facts get in the way of a "good" story.

If Mcelwa Nchabeleng was brought on air, there would have been no story. Who's fooling who?

Be that as it may, Sports Indaba hopes Teko Modise is reunited with all family and others who played a role in his growth.

We also forgive the radio man in the spirit of Christmas and reconciliation.

That is what new ANC president Jacob Zuma would say to his detractors after the Limpopo events.

Now Bafana Bafana, who couldn't sing the national anthem, will have a choice of switching to the much easier Umshini Wam.

One must admit that that would be very intimidating to the opposition. Just like the haka.

Sports Indaba wishes all you readers a very merry Xmas and prosperous New Year.