Now that the dust has settled and reality has hit home that Bafana Bafana have failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, it’s time to look at what went wrong and try to find solutions for the future.
Firstly, I want point out the reasons that I felt contributed to Bafana’s failure to qualify for the next round of qualifiers.
The first downfall for Bafana was Safa’s insistence on making the then Bafana coach, Pitso Mosimane, continue with the system that former SA coach Carlos Alberto Parreira implemented after the Brazilian had taken his millions with him back to his homeland, Brazil.
Mind you the same system gave Bafana the humiliating tag of being known as the first host country that failed to qualify for the second round of the World Cup.
After seeing that the system was failing to bring the desired results, Mosimane then sold the country a dummy called Vision 2014. South Africans waited in vain to see if this Vision would finally take the national team to the top, but instead things went from bad to worse for Bafana.
Upon realising that Mosimane’s vision was taking the country no where, Safa finally relieved Mosimane of his duties and appointed Gordon Igesund as the new coach.
Igesund’s mandates were to take Bafana to at least the semi-finals of the 2013 Afcon and qualify the team for the 2014 World Cup.
Bafana, who hosted the Afcon, could only manage to reach the quarterfinals where they were knockout of the competition by Mali. They have now also failed to qualify for the World Cup.
Various reasons have been given as to why Igesund has failed to achieve the mandates set by Safa, but one glaring factor hasn’t been mentioned often is that of the players.
Igesund, just like Mosimane, continued to persist with the same players that have been underachieving since 2008.
Yes, the same players that failed to qualify for the 2010 and 2012 Afcons. The same players who failed to reach the second round of the 2010 World Cup and who also failed to reach the semi-finals of the 2013 Afcon. And yes, the same players who have just failed to qualify for the next round of the World Cup qualifiers.
Until such time that Igesund, or whoever might be appointed by Safa if Igesund does get the axe, take the bold step and remove these underachieving old players and replace them with youngsters, who are hungry to succeed, then South Africans will continue to Safa... oops, I meant suffer.
Nigeria, the current African champions, went through the revamp process and now they are reaping the rewards. When their coach, Stephen Keshi, got rid of the dead wood, so to speak, he was criticised, with some Nigerians calling for his axing, but now the same Nigerians are rejoicing the good work being done by the former Super Eagles defender.
SA should follow suite and get rid of the old players in the Bafana team and replace them with young quality players.
Igesund has started the process of recruiting the likes of Bongani Zungu, Andile Jali, Kermit Erasmus and others. It is now time to finish that process by getting rid of all the old players.
Well, that’s my thought, what’s yours?
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