South African Minister for Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, appeared to shock the nation following his strong comments made about Bafana Bafana, not too long after the national team had crashed out of the Chan 2014 tournament following a dissapointing 3-1 loss to Nigeria.
Mbalula labelled Bafana a team of losers and said that South African football was facing a crisis of monumental proportions as a result.
He said, “What I saw was not a problem of coaching, it was a bunch of losers. Their performance was not even lacklustre, it was useless...That mediocrity that was displayed yesterday… we must never wake up to that again. We indeed have a crisis of monumental proportions. We don't have a crisis of talent, we have a crisis of putting everything together...To me, that was a disaster.”
While it's perhaps true that Bafana's performance against the Super Eagles was diabolical, is Mbalula's assertion correct that South African football is indeed in crisis? Was he right or wrong to be so critical publicly of Gordon Igesund's team?
We put this line of questioning to Bafana legend, Linda Buthelezi, who helped the national side to achieve arguably their finest hour in 1996 when the country won the Afcon title. The former hard-hitting midfielder expressed his view that Mbalula's comments were perhaps unneccesary, misdirected and overly critical.
He said, "His comments don't help us because you expect him to be modest about the situation. You expect him to support the infrastructure of sports in this country. I wouldn't like to talk too much about what his comments mean to Gordon's future. Personally, Gordon has done so much well as far as taking the team so far from where it was when he inherited it. For Gordon to be treated like this, it's really unfair. That's why I expected Mbalula to be modest about how the team performed. If he hasn't performed there are ways of expressing your opinion. This is what you expect from dignified people. For me, Gordon has done a tremendous job and I think there are other ways we can address our situation in SA football."
What's your view on Mbalula's strong comments about Bafana and South African football in general? Was he right or wrong to say what he did?