SONO in key ro le

FIFA has appointed Jomo Sono as one of its technical analysts for the 2010 World Cup.

FIFA has appointed Jomo Sono as one of its technical analysts for the 2010 World Cup.

Sono, the owner and head coach of relegated Jomo Cosmos, will work with former Liverpool mentor Gerard Houllier to produce a final report for Fifa on the event.

Sono's appointment shows the confidence the international football governing body has in the soccer legend and former Bafana mentor.

Sono and Houllier's role entails checking on players, looking at teams' formations and how they execute these on the field and other matters related to their performance during the finals.

This is a task that Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira performed for the world football governing body at the 2002 South Korea and Japan World Cup finals.

"He was analysing me and our team when I was national coach at that tournament and now the boot is on the other foot. I remember he gave us a glowing report, with Tebogo Mokoena as our best performer there.

"I would like to thank Fifa and its president Sepp Blatter for showing faith in my abilities with this appointment," said a beaming Sono.

"I am looking forward to doing the best I can.

"It is an honour and I really appreciate it.

"It's funny how things sometimes pan out. This confirms the saying that a 'prophet is never honoured among his own people', " he told Sowetan yesterday.

Meanwhile, the three musketeers chosen by Safa to help check on Bafana's progress under Joel Santana - Clive Barker, Gavin Hunt and Sono - seem set to return in the same capacity.

Bafana go into the tournament with renewed vigour, having advanced seven places on the Fifa rankings for May.

The Aaron "Mbazo" Mokoena-led squad are now ranked 83rd on the world rankings and Safa chief executive Leslie Sedibe said they were encouraged by the latest developments around the national squad.

"(But) we are not where we should be (in terms of rankings) and we deserve to be up there with the other superpowers of world football," Sedibe said.

"For us the litmus test will come after the World Cup when we start with the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Those will be critical milestones for us."