What’s Best for our Bafana – A FANS perspective
As a sport loving nation, it pains us to see Football our countries most popular and played sport, falling so far behind the other sporting codes. There is absolutely no doubt that South Africa has the diversity, talent, and numbers to field a strong 23-man squad. One that can challenge for higher honours on the continent on a consistent basis, if not dominating. We have all the infrastructure in place to compete on a global stage. Our failure to qualify or be competitive in major tournaments over the last decade is as clear as any other indication that there is something inherently wrong.
The FIFA World Cup is around the corner, the excitement for this global showcase is somewhat slightly subdued due to several political and social issues which we won’t get into for now. However, as FANatics we want our team to be there, we want to wake up and have a little glimmer of hope even if it is small. South Africa is a proud sporting nation and if there’s one thing we know how to do, its defying the odds, however as things stand our national football teams seem to lose matches before a single ball is kicked.
As fans we can air our grievances and get things off our chests, because, well this is our team. In saying that, we do also need to be able to offer up solutions that would contribute to addressing and helping fix what is clearly very broken.
The South African Football Association is in a constant state of decline and has been free falling for just over a decade! We need to consider dismantling the institution as it currently exists and substitute all the people in the high-power decision-making roles. We need to introduce young, ambitious, and qualified candidates through a transparent and rigorous process, who can turn things around. The game and the administration of the game has changed globally, we cannot keep our heads under the sand and not recognise this.
Our domestic league does not exactly make for exhilarating viewing. It seems to be littered with basic errors, questionable officiating, and a poor level of footballing quality. Its not surprising that the league itself is dominated by Sundown’s who have the financial backing of wealthy businessman and current President of the Confederation of African Football. The issues are not only just at the top, but they also run deep throughout our football structures.
What’s preventing us from hiring members of the successful 1996 Bafana Bafana squad who have shown interest and have continued their development in the sport to be consultants for a year, with a possible contract extension clause based on pre-described deliverables. We have several candidates in this regard who have plied their trade overseas in some of the best leagues around the world. We can boast a high calibre, home grown, former player and coach in Pitso Mosimane. All the successful footballing structures across the globe have former players involved in the running and administration of their respective clubs and unions, somehow South Africa has not taken to this, instead we have politicians holding positions that require a deeper understanding of the game.
Clubs then need to sign a charter that states country duty comes first, with clauses that are in the interest and favour of state assets (players). A small portion of all club funds generated and raised through sponsorships, broadcast and gate sales goes towards the said players and general maintenance. Equally money won in international competitions or tournaments will be proportionally redistributed to the contributing clubs (This should incentivise the club and its players to excel personally and as a club). The countries assets and all dealings to be handled by a newly elected Sports Administration Body made up of former athletes and Sport Science graduates who understand the latest and best practice.
We as FANS need to ask the important questions or else, we will not see any fundamental change. One day we will look back at this period in our footballing history and ask ourselves what took us so long? We have it within us to fix our own shortfalls and once again become force to be reckoned with.
Now that its off my chest, I must clarify that the views expressed above are those of my own and are not necessarily those of Sportsnation.
Sportsnation do however have a selection of amazing travel packages to some FANtastic football games across Europe, visit www.sportnation.co.za and check out the latest offerings to scratch that footballing itch.