What needs to be done to change Bafana rot?

JOHANNESBURG - A lot of reactions have dominated sports headlines this side following Bafana Bafana’s sub-standard defeat to Nigeria and failure to go beyond group stages of the on-going Chan tournament being hosted here in Mzansi.

By his own admission, under-fire coach Gordon Igesund admitted last Sunday’s the defeat was one of the lowest moments in the history of Bafana.

A day later, minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, pulled no punches when he labelled the players and entire coaching staff “unpatriotic and a bunch of losers.”

While certain sections of the media lashed out at the minister for publicly admonishing the team and naming some outstanding culprits, Mbalula has stuck to his guns that time, for sportsmen who embarrass the nation, had come to an end.

Igesund, who was named Bafana coach under a lot of fanfare, is now walking a tightrope with both Safa and the minister gunning for his blood having failed in any of his mandates since he was appointed the national coach.

He failed to reach the World Cup in Brazil 2014 and Bafana were knocked out of the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations. The Chan elimination was definitely the last straw and it is a question of time before the announcement of his sacking is announced.

The country is unanimous that taking draconian measures normally implemented on the African continent in which sportsmen who fail to deliver are sent to detention barracks as part of public humiliation and punishment might be the way to go.

There is no excuse why Bafana Bafana have been perennial under underachievers.

They are the best paid soccer players and have by far the best facilities on the continent.

Minister Mbalula is of the opinion that some of the players’ behaviour borders purely on lack of respect of the national flag.

While some might point at the dearth of talent in the country, Igesund’s squad was the most experienced of the lot at the tournament and with the public backing should at least have shown some fighting spirit.

What are likely to follow are wholesale changes within the national set up. SAFA has hinted at not only changing the entire technical team but change the name Bafana Bafana as well.

“We need a fresh start and that mean bringing in a new technical sponsor, have a re-look at the technical team and change the name Bafana Bafana,” said SAFA President Danny Jordaan at the same briefing where the Minister berated the team.

For a country which the whole of Africa thought would be a shining example, the performance of the senior national team has left the country aghast with anger.

For how long is Mzansi going to be a nation of hosting tournaments and not taking advantage of such activities?

For how long will the public continue to tolerate mediocrity, according to the Minister?

The Chan tournament humiliation might have been a blessing in disguise the country needs to change the Bafana mindset and chart a new course.

Feedback: sports@dailynews.co.zw.

Comments (2)

I think it will be a blinder if Gordon Igesund is sacked. True they had the most experienced side in the tournament and they had players who form the core of Bafana Bafana but lets also take note that the coach was denied ample time to prepare and teams like Kaizer Chiefs refused with players until the last minute.

Jore - 27 January 2014

the coach should stay @ build a new team rather than fire him.he's a good coach

felix manjonjo - 28 January 2014

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