Trust Safa suits to ruin any sign of progress in our diski 

Just as the spotlight was beginning to fall nicely on Bafana Bafana, who have been on a upward trajectory, the boardrooms guys in snazzy suits and fancy shoes had to come in and  grab the limelight, yet again. They just could not be outdone. 

In a normal world, the players and the coaches are the mainstay of national federations, while the executive committee members and other office bearers are the least important and are seldomly spoken about – people do not even know their names. 

But not at the South African Football Association (Safa) headquarters; there by the mine dumps of Nasrec. The ink had barely dried on the headlines after Bafana showed guts and the zeal to reclaim their place at the top of the mountain after an impressive 1-1 draw against the Super Eagles of Nigeria in their own backyard in Uyo. Coach Hugo Broos’ soldiers put the cherry on top with a 3-1 walloping of neighbours Zimbabwe in front of a capacity crowd in Bloemfontein. 

The players and the technical ensemble joined in the celebrations as frenzied and hysterical supporters chanted and screamed the names of Broos, Relebohile Mofokeng and Ronwen Williams after the match. Those scenes would have surely left a lot of patriotic SA supporters with a slight trail of tears on their cheeks. 

But hardly a week had passed and the Safa hierarchy, the technical director Walter Steenbok and national executive committee (NEC) member David Molwantwa were at each other’s throats like warring siblings.  

Steenbok is now said to be facing a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday. He is charged with breaching Safa’s statutes, internal policies and procedures and will be asked to explain the hostile relationship with Safa’s head of women’s football Romaney Pinnock and for previously insulting Molwantwa in a barrage of heated e-mails earlier this year. 

To be fair, Steenbok is one of the brightest and hard-working officials at the moribund Safa House, but the only misgiving is that he does get a little overzealous at times.  

His strong personality and steadfast approach in handling matters that are hindering the development and growth of SA football has not gone down well with many members of the NEC. 

Steenbok, a former Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns player scout, is accused by some NEC members and Safa staffers of stepping on the toes of various officials. They also blame him for the dismal performances of some junior national teams that have failed to qualify for major tournaments such as the Olympics and Fifa World Cup in recent times.    

But what gets my goat is that the NEC honchos are so untouchable, they could get rid of Broos tomorrow if they wanted to. They are a law unto themselves because they are treated like kingmakers by the president, Danny Jordaan. But we all know that they are merely there for the perks and the -voting power and contribute very little in the cause of bringing the glory days to what was one of the most respected federations on the continent. 

The focus should be on maximising the promise and the rise that Bafana are showing these days. The association should be courting sponsors to stabilise the football mother body and not put too much emphasis on some flimsy DC hearings to please NEC members.  

The attention should be on creating a platform for young players such as Oswin Appoliis, Mofokeng and Jayden Adams to thrive and to play on the world biggest stages like erstwhile superstars Benni McCarthy, Lucas Radebe and Steven Pienaar, to mention but a few. 


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