Plan to nationalise Bafana a snub to Safa

This is what South Africans heard yesterday:

This is what South Africans heard yesterday:

"Sports and Recreation Minister Makhenkesi Stofile is set to 'nationalise' Bafana Bafana so as to prevent any embarrassment to the country in 2010. Addressing an excited parliamentary portfolio committee on sport, Stofile said they will contract players to prepare only for the World Cup soccer tournament.

"He added that the players will not be allowed to play for their respective clubs for two years. But soccer bosses are unsure if this idea will work. Even though the suggestion is being discussed with the SA Football Association (Safa) Stofile admits he does not think Fifa boss Sepp Blatter will be keen on the idea."

I am in Blatter's corner.

There are people we refer to as "panic mechanics" and if this is not a classic case of one, then nothing else is.

What the honourable sports minister is thinking of doing is gross interference in an area that has nothing to do with him or government.

In case people are not aware, this is nothing more than a vote of no confidence in the local football hierarchy, Safa.

If Safa agrees to this suggestion, then they may as well as close shop. They would be agreeing to their own shortcomings and admitting that Bafana Bafana is beyond redemption.

The minister's suggestion leaves more questions than answers.

Say Safa agrees to it:

l How and who is going to chose those 50 players?;

l Are clubs going to allow their "star" players to go on a two-year sabbatical for the so-called bigger picture?;

l Who will be paying them during that period when they are "contracted" to the government?;

l Will Safa still call the shots as far as that team is concerned, remembering that he who pays the piper calls the tune?;

l If not, what role will Safa play in Bafana Bafana's build-up to 2010?;

l We will presumably keep the coach. Will government take over paying his R1,8 million salary?; and

l Where do these players go to after the World Cup as teams will by then know whether they can do without them or not.

There are still many other questions to ask but space doesn't allow for that.

But you can ask them.

You probably have questions on this, don't you?

Anastacia Tshiclas has been told to shut up.

Well, maybe not in so many words, but that's what Safa's national executive committee meant anyway.

Her sin? She dared to address the issue of the senior national side's coach and his frequent visits back home to Brazil.

It's going to be difficult for members of that august body to be their own people. She has to start thinking as a "collective" whether she agrees with something or not.

And we hear talk of transparency, democracy and good governance.

Whatever happened to the rights of individuals to differ with those in authority.

Authorities should not be allowed to have exclusive rights to thinking and voicing what concerns other members. That is the only way to grow unless you think like what Dr Irvin Khoza described the other day. I apologise for that. But you heard me.

Benni McCarthy is back.

Methinks he and Carlos Alberto Parreira owe the nation an explanation. McCarthy did not feature at the 2008 MTN Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana and we never really were told why.

Now the player is recalled and we are still not told why. We are supposed to celebrate. We know what he is capable of and Parreira once said it's a luxury for any country to afford to leave a player like that out of its national team.

But he did just that in Ghana.

So what has changed?

We need that explanation.

Long live Makhenkesi Stofile! Long live. You may just have the answer after all.