The election of Dr Danny Jordan as the president of the South African Football Association in September 2013 was , to many, seen as the second best thing to happen to South African football in the space of four years; second to the World Cup of course. The race between the man behind the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa and his counterpart Mandla Mazibuko was hardly a contest and from that minute the writing was on the wall ‘SA football will never be the same’ – hopefully for the better. One thing is for sure, South African football is no longer the same, but the question is whether it has changed for the better or the worse.
When it was confirmed that Jordaan will be president of the football governing body in the country, the thinking was that the University of Western Cape graduate will change the way things are done at SAFA House, and the first brick on building that ‘change’ of a house would be doing away with the chopping and changing of coaches that the Association had been notorious of in recent years.
Under the previous administration of Kirsten Nematandani, the football fans in South Africa had lost hope, many did not even bother to get all their hopes high in as far as the national team’s success was concerned. The nation pretty much knew that ‘the only way Bafana was going is down’, but then came Danny Jordan, ‘the messiah of SA football’, but it seems like SAFA is still the same. Wasn’t Danny supposed to promote continuity?
Why is he following in the footsteps of his predecessor? Wasn’t he supposed to be the different one? Why does he continue with the trend of looking for a problem in Bafana while not focusing on grass roots levels first? Jordaan needs to start attending to the important issues; things like the introduction of proper football facilities in different locations around the country and proper football academies; but hey, how many times has that been said? A lot. Too many, actually. Do they listen? No, they don’t. Will they now? Hopefully.
Still on development, SAFA called a press conference on Monday to address the issue of the national team coach, even though most of us knew it was to announce that Gordon Igesund’s journey as Bafana Bafana coach has come to an end. The president made a statement that will, despite giving hints that Carlos Queiroz is on his way back, make football fans who are pro-SA coaches in the national team shed a tear or two.
The president said, ”I think what we want is not a debate on where the coach is from. We want the team to compete and become the best in the world”. Of course it matters where the coach is from Mr President. It matters where the person who will make us the best in the world comes from. Anyway, how will we be the best if you have turned your back on development? Shortcuts again? Danny isn’t different from the others.
The reality is, when Igesund took over from Pitso Mosimane almost two years ago, he was expected to perform miracles. He was expected to save a sinking ship from sinking. How that is possible is beyond me. The damage in the AFCON qualifiers had already been done so maybe he could have saved the ship but what were his chances? Really, now?
To defend their decision, SAFA will probably say they are different to the previous administrations because they did not fire Igesund. They just did not renew his contract, but is there any difference? It is not like there is any other match the national team will play under him. Igesund has come and gone but the question remains; how many more coaches will SAFA have to fire before they realise that the football problems in the country are bigger than the national team coach? Who is next in this firing line?