Bafana need radical change

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana's 5-0 disgrace by five-time world champions Brazil, has underscored the need for the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations champions to urgently go back to the drawing board if the backwards slide is to be curbed.

Wednesday's match might have been another international friendly but the way Bafana meekly surrendered and were put to sword without putting up a fight was frightening for a country awash with all the riches.

The biggest massacre for Mzansi's senior national men's team comes in the wake of another humiliating exit from the CHAN tournament at the hands of less fancied opponents.

It is not an understatement to state that Mzansi soccer has sunk to an all time low.

And all the blame is being heaped, and correctly so, on coach Gordon Igesund. For a man who took over the team under a lot of fanfare, Igesund has proven to be a coach of low esteem, who has surely run out of ideas.

While his contract comes to an end in July this year, the best thing an honourable man can do under the circumstances, is throw in the towel and admit things have failed to work.

Part of his contractual requirements when he took over from Pitso Mosimane (who is now coaching Mamelodi Sundowns) was to at least the semis of the Africa Cup of Nations or qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Needless to say he dismally failed in all those responsibilities but was kept on his job with the hope that he would turn the corner and prove his critics wrong.

But the monumental CHAN failure and Wednesday's defeat might have left his bosses with little choice by show him to door.

Mzansi is still pencilled to play two friendly matches ahead of the 2014 World Cup but I doubt very much if Igesund will be allowed to see off his lucrative contract.

Bafana looked clueless on Wednesday in keeping with their recent trend of failing to execute the very basics of the game.

With the 2015 AFCON qualifying matches looming immediately after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, there are fears that Bafana might face yet another immense failure in their quest to reach Morocco next year.

So what is a quick fix for Bafana?

Propositions vary from some suggesting that the country should take advantage of the influx of foreign immigrants who now enjoy South African citizenship and allow them to play for Bafana.

Others want the whole national team to be disbanded and have a fresh start.

They are of the opinion that the current players are prima donnas, earn a lot of money and have lost the value of representing the country.

There are those who are of the opinion that South Africa suffers from the African syndrome of concentrating much in the urban areas and overlook the outlaying areas which are rich in talent.

But SAFA President, Danny Jordaan is of the opinion that the problem lies in not wanting to let go. The Brazil side that played on Wednesday is the same side which beat Bafana 1-0 in Sao Paolo in 2012 but the team has gelled into a formidable since then.

Coaches should encourage grooming youngsters and fuse them with experience.

That way you keep the team fresh and revolving.

That is the route Bafana need to follow if they are to get out of the current malaise.


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