Soccer Scene: Jordaan and Co make a mess of it

Johannesburg – The unveiling of new Bafana Bafana coach to take over from axed Molefi Ntseki comes with heartache and pain for the nation and the country’s senior national team followers and supporters.

Reason: Safa’s national executive committee, under president Danny Jordaan and the football association’s technical committee, decided to fire Ntseki for failing to qualify for next year’s edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, without a plan B.

There has been toing and froing on the part of those tasked with the job of finding a replacement, simply because the Safa leadership did not have their ducks in a row. After the much-anticipated announcement last weekend of Carlos Queiroz, a Portuguese national born just across our border, in Nampula, Mozambique, who was to come for his second stint as Bafana coach, the Safa top brass are running helter-skelter.

Over the past three weeks, Jordaan and his head honchos have been running around like headless chickens in search of a suitable candidate with vast experience in African and international football to take Bafana forward, but nothing seems to give. Presumably, there have been talks with Queiroz, Frenchman Hervé Renard, Belgian Hugo Broos, our own Pitso Mosimane, Benni McCarthy and Gavin Hunt. However, those targeted have contracts running either with national teams or at clubs, and Safa has been hitting brick walls.

Last Saturday’s aborted announcement was shelved at the 11th hour with a despicable spin that the unveiling of the new man could not go ahead because of “Covid-19 travel issues”.

This was another of the many boobs on the part of Safa. The spin left a huge dripping egg on the face of Safa leaders.

Even a primary school pupil would have known that, if at all the signature of the new coach had been secured, the announcement presser could have been held virtually, as is the norm in this day and age of living with the coronavirus. So, did Queiroz accept and then decline? Why prepare to announce the coach before even securing the crucial signature?

Please answer, I’ve got a Mango plane to catch. I would have laughed it all off if it were a joke. The matter of the nat iona l team coach is serious and of great concern as World Cup qualifiers are just around the corner – June 5-8, to be exact, against Zimbabwe in the first match. We are told it was through the insistence of Jordaan that Queiroz, the former Real Madrid and Portugal manager, was targeted as the preferred candidate because he currently does not have a job and has previously coached Bafana, in 2001 and 2002.

So, why call a presser prematurely knowing very well that you have not secured the signature of the new man? The bottom line is that Safa has made a hash of the appointment of the new coach.

Jordaan and Co have made a mess of it, yet again.

Xolile Mtshazo

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