call for locals to save bafana

Molefi Mika

Molefi Mika

American-based football great Steve "Kalamazoo" Mokone has suggested that the equally lionised Kaizer Motaung and Jomo Sono should come forward to help Bafana Bafana, one way or the other.

The South African national senior side, host team of the 2009 Fifa Confederation Cup and the 2010 World Cup finals, has failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola in 2010.

Bafana, under coach Joel Santana, seem to be struggling since the departure of Carlos Alberto Parreira. Already there are allegations that Santana does not communicate well with his players due to him not being able to express himself in English.

Some of the former Bafana coaches and players are already calling for Santana's head while some people think that "is rather harsh".

Said Mokone in a communique to Sowetan yesterday: "I think what should happen is to assemble people like Kaizer Motaung, Jomo Sono, Clive Barker [former Bafana coach who won the 1996 Afcon] and ex-players who have played professionally abroad and at home and discuss what they see as the problem.

"What should also be done is to repair the damage that is being done to our football. Folk like Jomo and Kaizer understand coaching in South Africa takes a lot more than just coaching. You have to understand the temperament, culture, style of play and psychology of the play ers and the language to communicate with the players.

"Selecting a coach does not just involve selecting someone because he is from some exotic country, with coaching experience.

"One cannot select a coach unless one has played the game, understands big game pressure, what that involves and how one deals with that. A coach becomes a friend, father figure, enforcer and psychologist..."

Sono said: "I am always available for my country if my services are needed. But of course this will depend on whether Safa needs my help or not."

Motaung said: "I don't think we need to start panicking. Clearly Safa must take the initiative as the custodians of football in the country. We cannot just go in there unless we are invited with a specific mandate. One other thing, we have to be careful not to make matters worse by getting everybody involved."