Players back the axing of Santana

THE national soccer player body has welcomed the axing of Bafana Bafana coach Joel Santana, but says the national team's shortcomings have deeper roots.

THE national soccer player body has welcomed the axing of Bafana Bafana coach Joel Santana, but says the national team's shortcomings have deeper roots.

"We can, every two years, hire and fire national coaches who fail to produce results, but ultimately it will not take us anywhere," said the SA Football Players Union in a statement yesterday, and "... the root of the problem we are facing as a country is that our development is not up to scratch."

The SA Football Association announced Santana's departure on Monday, saying this resulted from a mutual agreement.

Under his leadership, Bafana Bafana fell to 85th position on Fifa's world rankings.

"We urge Safa to be more strategic and focus on development by, among other things, re-introducing school tournaments and employing qualified coaches to run development programmes."

Safa's executive should set up soccer academies in all provinces, and employ qualified former players as scouts and coaches for developmental teams.

"Furthermore ... stop paying administrators big bonuses and commissions over and above their salaries and channel all such money to the players," Safpu said.

"It is also important that players get expert psychological support to motivate them and enhance their performance in national colours." - Sapa

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